Olivia DeJonge (‘Elvis’) on her ‘drastic’ transformation into Priscilla Presley and being ‘shocked’ she won the role [Exclusive Video Interview]

Olivia DeJonge auditioned for the role of Priscilla Presley in Baz Luhrmann‘s “Elvis” in early 2019, and after months of waiting, figured she had lost the part. The actress recalls, “I was sitting at dinner three months later with my agent and I had just asked, ‘What happened with that Elvis gig? I wonder who got it?’ And he was like, ‘I don’t know. Let’s check back in.’ And then five minutes later he got this text message saying that I had got the job. And we were so shocked and so excited! So the feeling I felt when I got it was a lot of surprise.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

“Elvis” stars Austin Butler as Elvis Presley along with Tom Hanks as his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. It follows the music icon through his childhood, becoming a rock and movie star in the 1950s and his death in 1977.

SEE Mandy Walker (‘Elvis’ cinematographer) on working with Baz Luhrmann: ‘There couldn’t be a more perfect person to make this film’ 

While preparing for the film, DeJonge says she read Priscilla’s book “back to front, like 100 times.” She adds, “I watched her tour of Graceland. I watched little bits of interviews. We had our movement coach, who was such an incredible help with all of that as well. Just personifying the text in a way that was digestible. The other thing, too, was there wasn’t a lot recorded of her when she was younger. That sort of granted myself the ability to bring an authentic or organic energy to it that wasn’t so much contrasted against these videos. Austin had to do picture-by-picture. There was so much footage of Elvis. For me I sort of got to experiment a bit more, which was fun.”

DeJonge says the “drastic” change in her appearance helped her get into character. “I’m a natural dark blonde and Priscilla, throughout the film, we see her transform through a myriad of different hairstyles. We did a month-and-half of hair and makeup tests before we started shooting. It took about three hours in the hair and makeup chair. The big hair we had we called the double decker. It was a lot of wig work. And Catherine Martin as well, who did costuming. Stepping into those costumes, I definitely felt like I was stepping into another world.”

The actress also talks about her interaction with the woman she portrayed on screen. “We sat next to each other at Cannes,” she reveals. “We were crying and holding hands by the end of it.”

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