Priscilla Presley got emotional after watching the biographical movie Priscillabased on the 1985 memoir Elvis and I that she co-wrote with Sandra Harmon.
Presley, 78, was in the audience during the film’s premiere at the film’s Venice premiere on Monday, September 4. Though she didn’t originally attend the film festival’s press conference to discuss the drama, she jumped out of the audience to answer a question about what it was like to see her memoir made into a movie.
“It’s very difficult to sit there and watch a movie about you, about your life, about your love,” she said tearfully. After pausing to collect herself, she continued, “[Director] Sofia [Coppola] did a great job. She did her homework, we spoke a few times and I really did everything I could for her.”
Priscilla, who was married to Elvis Presley from 1967 to 1973, also stressed that Elvis did not take advantage of her youth when they met. (She was 14 at the time, and the late musician was 10 years her senior.)
“It was very difficult for my parents to understand that Elvis would be so interested in me and why, and I really think so [it was] because I was more of a listener,” she said at the press conference. “Elvis poured his heart out to me in every respect in Germany: his fears, his hopes, the loss of his mother – which he never, ever got over. And I was the person who really, really sat there listening to him and comforting him. That really was our connection.”
She continued, “Even though I was 14, I was actually a bit older in life — not numerically. That was the appeal. People think, “Oh, it was sex.” No, it wasn’t. I never had sex with him. He was very kind, very gentle, very loving, but he also respected the fact that I was only 14 years old.”
Earlier in the press conference, Coppola, 52, also opened up about how young Priscilla was when she met Elvis, who died of cardiac arrest in 1977 at the age of 42.
“I can go back to that age and remember having a crush on an older man and a rock star,” the filmmaker said. “I just introduced myself from their point of view.”
Priscillawhat stars Cailee Spaeny in the title role and Jacob Elordi As a legendary musician, this is the second time Elvis’ life has been portrayed on screen in less than two years. Austin Butler played Elvis in 2022 Baz Luhrman biopic of the same name, which Priscilla also agreed to.
“It’s a true, brilliantly and creatively told story that only Baz could have delivered with his unique artistry,” she wrote via Facebook in April 2022, adding that the 32-year-old butler was “outstanding” in the role.
She continued, “Mid in the movie [Elvis’ friend] Jerry [Schilling] and I looked at each other and said WOW!!! Bravo for him… he knew he had big shoes to fill. He was extremely nervous playing this role. I can only imagine.”
Priscilla and Elvis’ only child, daughter Lisa Marie Presley, also sang Butler’s praises before she died in January at the age of 54.
“I’m so blown away by this movie and the impact it had and by what Baz did, what Austin did,” she told the audience at a Golden Globes pre-party just days before attending died of cardiac arrest. “I’m so proud. And I know my father would be very proud too.”
Priscilla, who also has a son Navarone Garibaldi with ex Marco Garibaldishared a statement at the time responding to the loss.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share the devastating news of the passing of my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie,” the statement said. “She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss.”
Months after Lisa’s death, their daughter was born Riley Keough, and Priscilla settled Lisa’s estate in May. Despite speculation of bad blood between Priscilla and her granddaughter at the court hearing, Priscilla has denied the rumours.
“Riley is now the executor [of the estate]which of course should be right since she’s her daughter,” Priscilla said The Hollywood Reporter in August. “Riley and I get along well. We never had a bad relationship.”
34-year-old Keough also addressed the situation in an interview Vanity Fair for their September cover issue.
“When my mother died, there was great chaos in every aspect of our lives. Everything felt like the carpet had been ripped out and the floor melted away from under us,” she explained. “Everyone was a little bit panicked because they didn’t want to understand what was going on and it only took a minute to understand the details of the situation because it’s complicated.”
The Daisy Jones and the Six star added: “We’re family, but our family also has a big business side. So I think clarity had to be created.”