Priscilla Presley wasn’t on the press conference panel for Sofia Coppola’s Venice competition film Priscilla, but she spoke from the audience, holding back tears as she gave an emotional tribute to the film and opened up about her late husband, Elvis Presley.
“It’s very difficult to watch a film about you and about your life and about your love,” she said. “But Sofia did an amazing job. She did her homework. And I really put everything out for her that I could.”
Speaking about Elvis, whom she met when she was 14, Presley said it was “very difficult for my parents to understand that Elvis would be so interested in me and why,” adding that she considered herself a listener in their relationship.
“Elvis would pour his heart out to me. His hopes, his fears, his loss of his mother. And I was the person who really sat there to listen and to comfort him. That was really our connection. Even though I was 14, I was older in life than in years,” she said. “And that was the attraction. People think, ‘Oh, it was sex, it was this.’ Not at all. I never had sex with him. He was very kind, very soft, very loving. But he also respected the fact I was only 14 years old. We were more in mind and thought and that was our relationship.”
Coppola, who, in something of a rare treat for Venice 2023, was able to attend the press conference alongside her lead stars Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi thanks to a SAG interim agreement, also discussed the actors strike.
“Yeah, I’m here as a director and a producer to support independent film and my crew and I’m totally behind the union’s hard work to fight for fair compensation,” she said. “And I hope it’s resolved soon, because there are so many people — we all want to get back to work.”
Priscilla — based on the 1985 memoir Elvis and Me written by Priscilla Presley and Sandra Harmon — will get its world premiere on the Lido on Monday evening.