MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis had a superstar-filled weekend as Oscar winner Tom Hanks and Austin Butler walked the red carpet at Graceland for the new “Elvis” movie.
Tom Hanks, who portrays Elvis’ controversial manager Colonel Tom Parker, appeared alongside fellow cast members, the Presley family and director Baz Luhrmann. They were all in Memphis for a special screening of the new biopic.
When asked about the other side of Colonel Tom Parker, Hanks said that his character knew Elvis well.
“Colonel Tom Parker was a carney, pure and simple,” Hanks said. “Now, being a carney is a sleazy guy who overpays for soft serve ice cream, chili dogs and or you look at a carney as someone who understands these magic lights at the edge of town attract people who want to have a good time.”
Austin Butler, who portrays Elvis Presley, said it meant the world to play the late singer in the movie.
“We worked so hard on this film, and it’s been apart of my life for three years,” Butler said. “I was really nervous for people to see it at first and now that Lisa Marie and Priscilla feel the way that they do, it’s relieved a lot of that intense pressure that I felt.”
WREG also spoke with Priscilla Presley who was once married to Elvis.
“First of all, it feels great being home,” she said. “The whole family is here, pretty much the whole family, and we’re here to support this amazing film that Baz Luhrmann has done in his beautifully stylized way. I was a little nervous at first. Not knowing where it was going to go, but we’ve given our full stamp of approval.”
The official release date for everyone to see the new “Elvis” movie will be on June 24.
“It means my life,” Elvis’ friend, Jerry Schilling, said. “It’s where I grew up. It’s where I met my best friend and have all my friends now, and I’m so proud of the heritage of Memphis and this film really pulls out the delta, what music did, Sam Phillips, all of these people coming together.”