Jonathan Rhys Meyers as "ELVIS"
Interview script with JONATHAN RHYS-MEYERS
What does it feel like to play the King of Rock-n-Roll?
It was quite an experience, unlike any other thing I’ve ever done in my life. But it was good fun, it was a bit nerve-wracking at some stages to portray such a big legend is a huge responsibility, but overall it was just a great experience. I had great fun.
You’ve played a rock star before in Todd Haynes’ VELVET GOLDMINE. What did you bring from that role to your performance as Elvis?
My character in VELVET GOLDMINE, Brian Slade, was such a different kind of rock star. Elvis is so unique in every way, that I really had to go into this role with a completely new slate.
What was it like working with Camryn Manheim and Randy Quaid?
Camryn Manheim is probably one of the sweetest people I’ve ever worked with in all my life, and such a fantastic actress. And from the first moment we met each other we had such a great bond. We really loved each other very, very deeply. And it comes across on screen, you know.
And Randy Quaid is one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met. He’s hilarious! I remember seeing him for the first time on set, and I think I met his belly button before I met him, because he’s so huge! And I said to the director, “Are you nuts?!?”
So they had to give me these special shoes which I nicknamed “Frankies,” like Frankenstein, so I had to wear these “Buffalos” so I could actually, in some scenes be the same height as Randy. So we had to do a little movie magic. It was really really funny. But he’s a great guy. It was a great cast all in all.
Robert Patrick was great as Vernon (Presley) and Rose McGowan is lovely as Ann-Margret. What a sweet girl. She’s gorgeous, gorgeous! And Antonia Bernath, this young English actress, played Priscilla; she looks exactly like a young Priscilla Presley - fantastic.
Do you have a favorite Elvis song?
“Guitar Man” is definitely my favorite song by Elvis. It’s semi-autobiographical and it’s just such a great rock n’ roll song…not to mention the fact that I love singing it.
Why do you think Elvis’ legacy has endured?
There has never ever been anybody who has matched the phenomenon that Elvis had. The Beatles sort of matched it, but there was four of them. No one person has ever done what Elvis Presley did and he was the first. He had everything! He had the talent, he had the charisma, he had the sexuality, he had the looks. And it was all natural.