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We ‘Cannot Assist Falling In Love’ With These 8 Actors Who Performed Elvis Presley In Films And TV Reveals

We ‘Cannot Assist Falling In Love’ With These 8 Actors Who Performed Elvis Presley In Films And TV Reveals

Elvis Presley, the undisputed King of Rock and Roll, left an indelible mark on music and pop culture. No wonder his larger-than-life persona has been portrayed over and over again on screen. As a result, several talented actors have taken on the challenging task of bringing the iconic to life by attempting to capture the essence of his charisma and talent.

From the early years of black-and-white television to recent blockbuster productions, the cinematic portrayal of the famous musician has evolved, with each actor bringing a unique touch to the role. For example, Kurt Russell won much praise for his realistic portrayal of the singer in the 1979 movie Elvis, but Austin Butler revived the icon with an even more lifelike imitation of Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 biopic with the same title. Meanwhile, Jacob Elordi helped show a whole different side of the musician in Priscilla.

Curious to know which other star has channelled their inner Elvis on the celluloid? Let us revisit some of the most notable actors who have stepped into the ‘blue suede shoes’ of the musician and left a lasting impression on the screen.

8 actors who have played the role of Elvis Presley in movies and TV series

Kurt Russell in ‘Elvis’ (1979)

Actors Who Played Elvis Presley
Image credit: IMDb

Directed by John Carpenter, the film covers the life of the famous musician, starting from his early years in Tupelo, Mississippi, to his rise to fame and finally, his struggles in the music industry. Decades after his appearance alongside the real Elvis in the 1963 film It Happened at the World’s Fair, Kurt Russell won the masses and critics alike with his portrayal of the iconic singer.

New York Times television critic John J. O’Connor said, “I have only seen this actor in television’s ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ series and a couple of westerns and was totally unprepared for his dynamic capturing of the Elvis image. He is probably better looking and less pudgy than the original, but his swagger and curious vulnerability are brilliantly on target. It is an impersonation that expands to a stunning performance.”

The film, which touched upon his personal life, relationships and career milestones, received a Golden Globe Award nomination in the category of Best Motion Picture Made for Television, along with three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, one of which was for Russell’s exceptional performance as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special.

Val Kilmer in ‘True Romance’ (1993)

Image credit: IMDb

While True Romance isn’t about Elvis Presley’s life per se, the film has managed to capture the singer’s essence uniquely and was played by none other than Val Kilmer. In the movie, Clarence (Christian Slater) is a devoted Elvis enthusiast who often daydreams and envisions Presley (Kilmer) communicating with him. It is this imagined version of Presley that persuades him to commit murder, setting the plot into action.

Although the film didn’t grant viewers a biographical look at Presley, Kilmer managed to capture the audience’s attention with his intriguing depiction of the ‘idea of Elvis’ within minimal screen time.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers in ‘Elvis’ (2005)

Actors Who Played Elvis Presley
Image credit: IMDb

In the 2005 miniseries, Jonathan Rhys Meyers played the titular role. Collider observed that the success of the miniseries lies in Meyers’ wholehearted dedication to accuracy. The actor delivered a commendable performance, successfully capturing the essence of Elvis through meticulous attention to details such as physicality and mannerisms.

The miniseries showcases Presley’s journey from his modest origins to achieving global fame. It narrates the tale of a financially troubled youth who ventured into African-American neighbourhoods to listen to R&B musicians. The initial part traces the singer’s life from his adolescence, through his enlistment in the army and onward to the early successes in his music career.

Additionally, Meyers scored the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film for his portrayal.

Tyler Hilton in ‘Walk the Line’ (2005)

Image credit: IMDb

Musician and One Tree Hill actor Tyler Hilton portrayed a youthful Elvis in the Johnny Cash biographical film Walk the Line, where Joaquin Phoenix took on the role of Cash and Reese Witherspoon played June Carter. The film is a biographical drama that chronicles the life of legendary country music singer Johnny Cash, primarily focusing on Cash’s early life, rise to fame, struggles with addiction and his love story with Carter.

While Hilton’s role in the movie is not particularly substantial, it pays tribute to a connection that the two musicians had before achieving fame.

Peter Dobson in ‘Protecting The King’ (2007)

Actors Who Played Elvis Presley
Image credit: IMDb

Net up on our list of actors who played Elvis Presley is Peter Dobson, who took on the role in the 2007 film Protecting The King.

In June 1972, Elvis Presley, The King of Rock and Roll, extended an invitation to his 16-year-old stepbrother, David Stanley, to leave school and join his inner circle. Excitedly accepting the offer, David enters a captivating adventure that mirrors any teenager’s dreams. Navigating a world beyond his years, Stanley rapidly takes on roles as a bodyguard, caregiver and problem solver. Amidst the challenges, he grapples with the task of safeguarding his cherished brother’s public image while confronting the personal struggles within his own life.

The film dramatises Presley’s life behind the scenes from the eyes of his brother, taking audiences on an unexpected ride.

Michael Shannon in ‘Elvis & Nixon’ (2016)

Image credit: IMDb

Elvis & Nixon is based on the real-life meeting between Elvis Presley and US President Richard Nixon that occurred on 21 December 1970. Here, Elvis is played by Michael Shannon and the movie explores the unlikely encounter when the singer decided to visit the White House to meet with President Nixon, played by Kevin Spacey.

The film received greater acclaim from critics than from audiences and Shannon’s performance earned him a nomination for Best Actor from the Indiana Film Journalists Association.

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The plot sees the singer express his concern about the drug culture and offer his assistance to the government as an undercover agent for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The film humorously depicts the peculiar dynamics between the King of Rock and Roll and the President, showcasing their contrasting personalities and the amusing nature of their meeting.

Austin Butler in ‘Elvis’ (2022)

Actors Who Played Elvis Presley
Image credit: IMDb

The 2022 biographical drama film Elvis is an epic directorial by Baz Luhrmann, where Austin Butler plays the role of the iconic singer. The movie depicts the life of the American singer and actor, focusing on his career under the management of Colonel Tom Parker.

Tom Hanks took over the role of Parker, with Olivia DeJonge, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, David Wenham, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Luke Bracey in supporting roles. The film garnered eight nominations at the 95th Academy Awards, including the Best Picture category. Additionally, at the 80th Golden Globe Awards, it received three nominations, and Butler won Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama. Furthermore, the American Film Institute recognised Elvis as one of the top-ten films of 2022.

Jacob Elordi in ‘Priscilla’ (2023)

Actors Who Played Elvis Presley
Image credit: IMDb

Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla draws inspiration from the 1985 memoir Elvis and Me by the legend’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley. The story unfolds the life of Priscilla, portrayed by Cailee Spaeny and intricately explores her complex romantic involvement with Elvis played by Jacob Elordi. Usually compared to Butler’s portrayal of Elvis, Elordi’s performance has managed to capture intimate moments of the singer’s relationship with Priscilla while Butler encapsulated the spirit of the rock and roll star in Luhrmann’s creation.

The official synopsis reads: “When teenage Priscilla Beaulieu meets Elvis Presley at a party, the man who is already a meteoric rock-and-roll superstar becomes someone entirely unexpected in private moments: a thrilling crush, an ally in loneliness, a vulnerable best friend.” The film explores the various phases of Elvis and Priscilla’s relationship, spanning from their initial encounter in Germany and continuing through the tumultuous periods of their relationship in the United States.

(Hero and feature image credit: Courtesy IMDb/Elvis and Priscilla)

This story first appeared on Augustman Singapore

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Who is playing Elvis Presley in Priscilla?
Jacob Elordi played Elvis Presley in Priscilla.

– How many actors have played Elvis Presley?
Austin Butler, Jacob Elordi, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Tyler Hilton and Peter Dobson are some of the many actors who have played the role of Elvis Presley in various movies and shows.

Source: Prestige Online

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