“It was a very emotional experience. It’s very hard to watch when it comes to your family,” said Keough, who was allowed to preview her grandfather’s autobiography. “I started crying within five minutes and didn’t stop. A lot of family and generational trauma started during the time which can also be seen in the film.”
The young director and actress also said that director Baz Luhrmann spoke extensively with her and her mother and grandmother Priscilla Presley before he began his feature film. The family also gave the manager access to Graceland, the Memphis property where Elvis lives. Moreover, they did not interfere with the film, says Keough. “Ultimately, we’re not going to tell Baz Luhrmann how to make a movie.”
In Elvis, Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby) tells the story of international superstar Elvis Presley seen through the eyes of Colonel Tom Parker, a Dutchman whose real name is Dries van Koek. He discovered Elvis and was his manager for many years. The film covers nearly twenty years after that achievement, in the mid-1950s, and the main roles include Austin Butler (Elvis) and Tom Hanks (Parker). The film will be shown worldwide on Thursday, June 23.