Photo: Indie Wire
A film based on the life of Elvis Presley and his wild experiences during that time in American history will bring out new details about him. One particular scene takes viewers deeper into this story with some genuinely fantastic insight.
Director Baz Luhrmann and cast Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, and Olivia DeJonge starred in EW’s Around the Tables series discussing their experience recreating one of music history’s most iconic opening nights.
“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.
“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.”
It is one of the most unbelievable moments in Luhrmann’s career, and he reveals it all.
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.”