"She looked at me and she said, 'That was a great performance,’ " Cailee Spaeny said of Priscilla Presley's reaction to 'Priscilla' following its world premiere
In a clip from an interview with The Hollywood Reporter shared on Instagram, Spaeny, 25, said that she felt a wide range of emotions as she sat with Presley, 78, at the world premiere of Sofia Coppola's new movie at the Venice Film Festival on Monday.
“I think the thing that was most touching to me, also terrifying [was] to be watching the movie with Priscilla Presley right next to me," Spaeny said in the clip. The actress portrays Priscilla in the movie, while Euphoria star Jacob Elordi plays Elvis Presley himself. (The A24 film was granted a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement amid the strike since it was filmed in Canada with a non-AMPTP studio.)
"But at the end, I think she felt really moved by it," Spaeny said of Priscilla's reaction to the film. "She looked at me and she said, 'That was a great performance,’ and that was the first time hearing that, which was — it’s just been absolutely surreal.”
Priscilla is based on the Presley family matriarch's 1985 memoir Elvis and Me. Priscilla herself appeared to grow emotional following the movie's world premiere, with a video that The Hollywood Reporter's Alex Ritman shared Twitter, now known as X, showing her wiping tears from her eyes as the audience applauded her.
The movie received a standing ovation from the audience in Venice that lasted seven minutes in total, according to Variety. The video shared on Twitter showed Coppola giving Priscilla a hug as Spaeny and Elordi, 26, looked on.
At a a press conference for the movie on Monday, Spaeny — otherwise known for roles in 2018's On the Basis of Sex and HBO's 2021 miniseries Mare of Easttown — said that she felt Priscilla was a major supporter of hers throughout her time filming the movie.
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“It was very daunting, but I got very lucky to have some time with Priscilla and she was very generous with her time," she said, when asked about how she and Elordi prepared to play major celebrities in Elvis and Priscilla. "She was very kind to me and supportive and I think if I didn’t have that, I would have had a much harder time. That was my main source and obviously the book, but I got really lucky that the person I was playing was also very supportive.”
During that press conference, Priscilla also appeared emotional as she told reporters that it was "very difficult to sit and watch a film about you and about your life and about your love."
"I think Sofia did an amazing job, she did her homework," she added. "We spoke a couple of times and I really put everything out for her that I could.”
Priscilla is in theaters Oct. 27.
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