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Cailee Spaeny’s Transformation into Priscilla Presley: A Fresh Perspective on Pop Culture History in Sofia Coppola’s ‘Priscilla’

In Sofia Coppola’s recent film ‘Priscilla’, actress Cailee Spaeny takes on the emotive role of Priscilla Presley. Transformed into the iconic character by makeup artist Jo-Ann MacNeil and hairstylist Cliona Furley, Spaeny joins a discerning list of actresses who have delved into portraying Elvis Presley’s enigmatic wife, including Season Hubley in the 1970s.

Coppola, known for her significant works such as ‘Lost in Translation’ and ‘Marie Antoinette’, presents a counterpoint to previous interpretations of Priscilla’s life. Cailee Spaeny and co-star Jacob Elordi, playing Elvis, revive the controversial relationship begun when Priscilla was just 14 and Elvis 24.

However, the film has received criticism. Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis and Priscilla’s daughter, has reportedly accused ‘Priscilla’ of being “vengeful”. She objected to Elvis being portrayed as “a predator and manipulative”, which is starkly at odds with how she praised the representation of her father in 2021’s ‘Elvis’. Reports suggest that before her death, Priscilla Presley herself also expressed concerns to Coppola about the biopic. Nevertheless, ‘Priscilla’ represents a fresh cinematic take on a facet of pop culture history still intensely scrutinized today.


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