Elvis Cast and Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann Reveals the Making of the Biopic

Photo: ABC

A film inspired by the life of Elvis Presley is expected to come with countless wild experiences; however, one particular scene takes viewers deeper into Elvis’ story. 

Director Baz Luhrmann and cast Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Alton Mason, and Yola recently appeared in EW’s Around the Tables series discussing the time they recreated the opening night – July 31, 1969 – of the iconic run of Elvis Presley at the Las Vegas International Hilton. 

“We’re sitting in those glorious booths, and I’m amongst 200 extras – I’ve got my five hours of preparation on, but everybody’s waiting for him,” Hanks recalls, pointing to Butler.

“We were waiting for you, and the electricity of what we were shooting that day and the opulence of the set. And when it finally occurred, we all felt: There he is.” 

“The curtain came up, and the music was blaring like crazy,” Hanks added. 

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“We did it many times that day, but every time that curtain came up, we all felt the same way: There he is. We could not take our eyes off him, and essentially, we got to see an Elvis show over and over again, and not once did it flag. That’s one of the most exciting days I’ve had on a movie in a long time.” 

Luhrmann reveals the same day as his most unbelievable encounter during the production of Elvis, and potentially his whole career. 

He was observing the extras go ballistic with thrill while seeing Butler as Elvis perform. Finally, however, it was the reply of a person among the crew member he has collaborated with for more than 30 years that sank it in. 

“He goes, ‘Boss, I’ve worked on your Star Wars, and I’ve done your Superman, done The Thin Red Line. But what’s going here? I’ve never seen anything like this,” Luhrmann reveals. 

“He’s like, ‘I’d pay money to be here.’ And I thought, ‘those extras would pay money to be here. They had the golden Willy Wonka ticket.” 

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