Elvis Presley’s life is being adapted to the big screen this year by visionary director Baz Luhrmann. And while the King’s life was thrilling and full of wonderful achievements, he also suffered some extremely sad losses during his early life.
Most notably, when Elvis was just 23-years-old, his mother, Gladys Presley, died of a heart attack.
Elvis was completely inconsolable. He sobbed through the vigil that was held for her after her passing in the days that followed.
He was later quoted as saying: “She’s all I ever lived for. She was always my best girl.” The King also inscribed her gravestone with the words: “Not Mine But Her Will Be Done.”
The author of the book Elvis and Gladys, Elaine Dundy, posited that his mother’s death had an enormous impact on the King’s future, as well.
She claimed the King’s various dysfunctions in his later life were connected to losing his mother – including his dependence on prescription drugs; the affliction that eventually killed him.
Austin Butler wanted to truly connect with the spirit of Elvis for the upcoming biopic. So when he was auditioning, he started comparing their lives. And he discovered something shocking about the pair of them – the loss of their mothers.
Butler recently revealed that he and Elvis both suffered this horrible loss around the same time of their lives. He said: “His mom passed away when he was 23 and my mom passed away when I was 23. He was very close to his mom, and my mom was my best friend.”
He added that it was one of the most “human things” he could connect to. Butler went on: “He knew what that grief felt like. It connected me to him on a deep level.” (Via Empire)
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Elvis’ director, Luhrmann, has full faith in Butler’s rendition of the character. But is also placing a lot of focus on the film’s intense style and “mythical” life.
Speaking in an interview earlier this year, Luhrmann explained: “I was always a fan of Elvis, but I don’t know if that fanhood in any way was the reason why, all these years later, I wanted to do [this film]. Truth is, in this modern era, the life of Elvis Presley could not be a better canvas on which to explore America in the 50’s, the 60’s and the 70’s. It’s a mythical life that he lived. That’s what drew me in.”
Elvis hits cinemas on June 24.