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HomeMoviesSofia Coppola tells the Elvis Presley story from Priscilla's perspective : NPR

Sofia Coppola tells the Elvis Presley story from Priscilla’s perspective : NPR

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Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi are Priscilla and Elvis Presley in Sofia Coppola’s new movie.

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Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi are Priscilla and Elvis Presley in Sofia Coppola’s new movie.

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Sofia Coppola wished to inform a unique form of Elvis story in her new movie, Priscilla.

Elvis and Priscilla Presley are iconic figures in American tradition and folklore — “form of the closest we’ve to royalty,” she says. Although Coppola knew Priscilla was 10 years youthful than her husband, she by no means actually understood what that age hole meant till she learn Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir, Elvis and Me. In it, Priscilla describes assembly Elvis in Germany when she was 14 and he was a 24-year-old music celebrity.

“I felt like my position was simply to elucidate her expertise and all the time undergo [Priscilla’s] standpoint,” Coppola says of the movie. “I believed [of] all of the issues we’ve to undergo as a teen [that] she was going via whereas she was residing in Graceland with Elvis.”

Priscilla matches neatly into Coppola’s physique of labor, which incorporates Misplaced in Translation, The Virgin Suicides, The Bling Ring and Marie Antoinette. All middle younger feminine protagonists — a viewpoint that felt missing when Coppola was developing.

“I hardly ever noticed teenage women depicted in a method that I felt was relatable and form of true to that have for me,” she says. “I all the time like tales about transformation — and that is such an excessive time of transformation.”

By means of TikTok and streaming, a brand new technology of younger ladies — some born after her earlier movies have been launched — have found her work.

“There’s women and girls that really feel seen, and numerous them are telling me they wish to be filmmakers,” she says. “It is so thrilling that I feel, ‘Oh my God, there’s going to be an enormous wave of all these movies made by these younger ladies that I can not wait to see.’ “

Coppola’s new ebook, Archive, is a group of pictures, annotated scripts and paperwork from the eight movies she’s made so far.

Interview highlights

On Elvis controlling Priscilla’s look

He had actually particular concepts of how she ought to look, and she or he was nearly like this doll to him. I feel at first it was enjoyable. He would take her to those shops with glamorous clothes — intimidating, however thrilling. That factor once you’re younger, you are attempting to be extra grown up, or slot in with the older children, and so I approached it like that. …

One of many particulars from the ebook that I cherished, that’s within the movie, is that she was placing on her false eyelashes as she was going into labor — simply the dedication to glamour always. I feel she was all the time “accomplished.” I do not suppose she ever went downstairs with out full hair and make-up and dressed utterly. And he or she stated he all the time got here down in a full outfit, like there was no lounging round and out of doors.

On regarding Priscilla’s younger life rising up round celeb

I can not think about something on the size of what she went via. To be round somebody so well-known — that will need to have been such a shock, as a result of her childhood was nothing like that earlier than. I do know what it is like – the distinction between a celebrated public individual after which in personal, they seem to be a regular individual. Seeing the way in which folks acted round my dad [filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola], or going to the Cannes Movie Competition as a child. … I had some sense of how folks act round celeb. …

I bear in mind speaking to my mother about a few of her frustrations of being a girl of that period. Priscilla was the identical technology as my mother. … My mother stated that to have a profitable husband and an attractive house, that was speculated to be sufficient to satisfy a girl, and she or he felt so confused that she had artistic expression that she wished to understand. What was improper along with her, that she wasn’t proud of simply having a household and an attractive house? … And when [Priscilla says she] needs to get a job and [Elvis] says, “No, I want you to remain at house” — that was simply what was anticipated of ladies at the moment.

On discovering music for the movie after Elvis’ property denied use of his songs

I all the time knew that we would need to have backup plans and determine one thing else out. And since the main target is her story, it is form of cool that there is not even Elvis music in it, however I might have appreciated to have [the song] “Pocketful of Rainbows” of his that I like. However I would heard that [his estate is] very controlling in regards to the materials made on him. …

I did not take heed to numerous that music rising up, however I all the time cherished lady teams and Phil Spector, in order that was acquainted to me. That is my favourite of that period. And there is one thing in regards to the Phil Spector sound that has, like, a grandeur and this massive manufacturing, and it is form of swelling and strings. It is actually romantic. And I wished the story to be extremely romantic, of her first teen love and form of this fairy story. It appears excellent on the skin, after which it form of melts within the actuality of when she goes into this world. It has an Alice in Wonderland feeling to me, her time in Graceland.

Jacob Elordi, Cailee Spaeny and Sofia Coppola on the set of Priscilla.

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Jacob Elordi, Cailee Spaeny and Sofia Coppola on the set of Priscilla.

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On casting Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla

It was daunting. I imply, the very first thing I considered is, for Priscilla, how am I going to search out an actress that may play 14, believably, to twenty-eight, that vary? And it is all the time essential to me that that teenager feels genuine and that that is accomplished proper. I requested my casting workforce for assist they usually prompt assembly Cailee Spaeny as a result of she was an up-and-coming actress that they thought was proficient. And I bear in mind seeing her in one thing else and I believed, she was like 15. I could not imagine she has such a child face … after I met her, she actually appeared like a child. And so I felt like she may pull that off. And since she’s in her 20s, I knew that she may specific the older lady and Kirsten Dunst had simply labored along with her … and she or he instructed me … how proficient she thought she was. So that basically gave me the arrogance that I felt like that may work nicely collectively as a result of I belief Kirsten a lot.

On her career-long collaboration with Kirsten Dunst

Working along with her on my first movie in Virgin Suicides, we simply fashioned a bond. … I all the time like to work along with her and all the time I am enthusiastic about tasks that I can do along with her. She simply has a method of expressing some aspect of myself or one thing I am enthusiastic about in a method that … we barely need to say. We’ve got a shorthand. And I simply love her sensibility and her humorousness. It is simply enjoyable to see what she does with the fabric. And we form of grew up collectively in our profession life and as folks. I met her after I was 29 and now we each … have had children. And it is enjoyable to see her now be a mom. And so she’s like somewhat sister.

On her ebook, Archive

Archive, by Sofia Coppola
Archive, by Sofia Coppola

Each time I end a movie, I form of throw all of the stuff from my desk and the supplies from prep in a field. Through the pandemic I used to be in search of some images and form of going via them and I discovered all these packets from a Japanese one-hour photograph place … from Misplaced in Translation, and I believed I ought to do one thing with them and make a scrapbook. … I felt like there’s been sufficient movies that I hoped that younger filmmakers or younger folks which are inquisitive about my work — It is likely to be attention-grabbing [for them] to see the references and the way issues are made somewhat bit. …

By making this ebook, it was good to only have a second the place I appeared like, “Wow, I’ve a complete physique of labor!” … You do not often sit again and see that, however yeah, I am so grateful as a result of it was actually … numerous work and actually daunting to start with of my profession to be taken significantly and to make a reputation for myself. … So to be at this level the place folks respect my work and see me that method, it is actually gratifying.

Sofia Coppola naps on the set of her 2003 movie, Marie Antoinette.

Archive (2023) by Sofia Coppola revealed by MACK


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Archive (2023) by Sofia Coppola revealed by MACK

Sofia Coppola naps on the set of her 2003 movie, Marie Antoinette.

Archive (2023) by Sofia Coppola revealed by MACK

Heidi Saman and Susan Nyakundi produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper and Beth Novey tailored it for the online.

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