Elvis movie: ‘Villain’ Colonel Tom Parker defended by Baz Luhrmann

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    The extraordinary life of Elvis Presley will be explored completely in “Elvis”, the upcoming biopic. Luhrmann will be showing his fans just how Elvis went from a small-town boy with a love for music to becoming the King of Rock and Roll. Along the way, however, Colonel Tom Parker aimed the star’s life in certain directions that have since been criticised.

    Tom Hanks plays Elvis’ manager in the upcoming biopic, but Luhrmann thinks there is a lot more to him than meets the eye.

    Colonel Parker hindered Elvis’ career in a few ways. One of the biggest hindrances was that the music mogul famously never let Elvis perform abroad. Colonel Parker was originally from Holland and arrived in the USA illegally. This meant that he worried about leaving the country and being denied reentry.

    Even more egregious was that Colonel Parker was a compulsive gambler. Not only did he gamble away all of the money he had – and more – but he also spent large chunks of Elvis’ money behind his back.

    Speaking of the fascinating character, Luhrmann revealed Hanks “really ran towards” playing the infamous manager. He said: “It’s interesting because ‘villain’ is too easy a way to wrap it up.”

    In the first trailer for Elvis, Colonel Parker tells viewers: “There are some that would say I’m the villain of this story.” 

    Luhrmann added: “He goes on to tell that story. He doesn’t say ‘…and they’re right.'” He continued: “From that character’s point of view he’s defending his telling of that story. It’s a device, and it’s a device that works because in truth, when it comes to a historical character there’s only ever one person’s telling of that story. Even in life.”

    Luhrmann added that people will always tell biased versions of events.

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    Colonel Parker said: “I found out some of my friends – they had artists – they put them on all the shows, talk shows, for free, and [the artists] had a hard time getting a job after that.” He later added: “I felt it was good for us not to go on. All these fellas were good friends of mine but when you go on these shows, most of the time, they book people when they’re big stars so they don’t hurt them too much. We were starting out and it wouldn’t have helped us any, which was proven because we did all right without them.”

    Hanks has his own perspective of Colonel Parker, as he has lived in his skin for many months while filming. He even got dinner with Elvis’ ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, who also spent a lot of time with Colonel Parker, in order to get a new take on him. 

    Hanks remembered: “I was expecting to hear stories about the distrust [Priscilla] had for Colonel Tom Parker over these many years. And she said: ‘No. He was a wonderful man, and I wish he was alive today. He took really great care of us. He was a scoundrel in his way.'”

    Adding his own opinion to the late manager, Hanks said: “He was a very disciplined man, but also a guy who you might want to check your wallet to make sure you still have all those fives and tens.”

    Elvis hits cinemas on June 24, 2022.

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    Published at Mon, 28 Mar 2022 14:10:19 +0000

    Elvis movie: ‘Villain’ Colonel Tom Parker defended by Baz Luhrmann