Welcome to Cailee Spaeny Fan, the latest online resource dedicated to the talented actress and singer Cailee Spaeny. Cailee has been in films like "Bad Times at the El Royale", "On the Basis of Sex", "Pacific Rim Uprising", "Vice", "The Craft Legacy" & "How It Ends". She has also been in TV Shows like "Devs" and "Mare of Easttown". This site is online to show our support to the actress and singer Cailee Spaeny, as well as giving her fans a chance to get the latest news and images.
November 28th, 2023 • Veronique
2023-11-27 – 33rd Annual Gotham Awards

Cailee attended the 33rd Annual Gotham Awards yesterday. Click on the gallery link below to see all new photos.

November 23rd, 2023 • Veronique
Deadline Magazine

‘Priscilla’ Star Cailee Spaeny On Spending “Precious Moments” With The First Lady Of Rock ‘n’ Roll & Connecting With Fellow “Nerd” Jacob Elordi

When Cailee Spaeny was 13 she reached a crossroads: she could carry on the way she was going or walk away from a normal life forever. Quitting high school to become an actor might not work out, she knew that, but Spaeny took the hard road; the exciting and risky one. And such was the choice the teenage Priscilla Presley made in 1963, leaving her family stationed in Germany to move in with Elvis at his home. Graceland, under the protective care of the singer’s father, Vernon. So, when Spaeny was cast in Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla, perhaps the two women, actor and subject, had more in common than they knew.

“We were the same age when we had this conviction, ‘Well, this is my life and I want this and I’m a teenager, but…,’ Spaeny says. “Like Priscilla’s family, my family made incredible sacrifices to support that decision. And you’re not only having to get it right for yourself, but also make sure that you don’t let them down.”

At their first meeting, in a Los Angeles restaurant, Presley told Spaeny, “I would’ve found a way to get to Graceland to be with Elvis, whether they helped me or not.” Says Spaeny, “I probably would’ve done the same thing if my parents didn’t help me get to LA. I would’ve found some person and I would’ve jumped in their car, and I would’ve made it work. I was hell-bent on that decision. I grew up really quickly and I started bringing income to my family when I was a very young age. It wasn’t a sort of cute, ‘I’ll try this out.’ It was like, ‘I have to make this work.’”

In casting Priscilla, Coppola had been searching for someone who could play 14 to late twenties, and Spaeny was vouched for by Coppola’s muse of sorts, Kirsten Dunst, who had worked with the young actor on Alex’s Garland’s upcoming Civil War — Spaeny’s second go-round with Garland after starring in his Hulu series Devs.

“I guess she just saw something in me and Jacob and she pulled the trigger,” Spaeny says. There was no chemistry read with Jacob Elordi, who would play Elvis. “The thing about Sofia is that when she knows what she wants, she really goes for it and trusts her gut.”

Spaeny emailed Elordi and together they connected over their love of cinema. “The first night we met, we went and saw Gilda, the Rita Hayworth film, which ended up being one of the Sofia’s references. Then we just hung out. We were in London at the same time, and we just became really close. Very quickly, I learned that he approaches roles in the same way that I do. Basically, we’re just two nerds. We’re really intense about these things. We barely ever hung out when we were filming because we were just so in it.”

Then there were the meetings with Presley herself. “She’s a woman of a different generation,” Spaeny says. “She holds herself so differently. She still dresses in a way that she really is so elegant, and my go-to is jeans and a T-shirt and my vocal register sits down here. I’m a girl of a different age. She is royalty. She holds herself in that.”

Presley was soft-spoken and a little shy, Spaeny says. But she was also fiercely protective of her family and her story. “If there was something I was getting wrong about the way I perceived it, she would go, ‘What do you mean by that? No, that’s not right, that’s not it.’ But she’d do it in a kind way.”

Sometimes the two women would just talk about dogs. “I mean, we ended up talking for four hours, and then we got into talking about her time with Elvis, and there’d just be these amazing details to the story that, coming from the woman herself, they were like gold. It was so special, and her eyes would light up like she was back there with him and she would laugh at a joke that he told. It was really these precious moments that I’ll always take with me.”

Spaeny understood the delicacy of the material and its deeply personal telling in Presley’s book Elvis and Me. And she connected to Presley’s experience of first love, she says. “I think the baseline emotional journey that she went through, it’s probably times 10 anything that I’ve gone through, because it was out there for the world to see, but [it’s about] just falling in love for the first time and doing anything to hold onto that feeling. When you’re so young, when you fall in love like that, you don’t know who you are to begin with. So, when [your partner] says, ‘I like women like this,’ or, ‘I prefer that,’ I know in my own experience, I’ve definitely gone, ‘Well, I don’t know who I am anyway, so I might as well be that, because I’m in love.’ You want to hold on.”

Apart from reading everything she could, Spaeny studied every photo she could find, and watched every film. “I watched her interviews after she had released the book. I even watched her Naked Gun movies, which I laughed about with her.” Starring Leslie Nielsen, the Naked Gun movies revealed that Priscilla had great comic timing and a surprisingly risqué sense of humor to boot. “I was like, ‘I can’t pin you down! You’re so interesting.’ And she thought that was funny.”

Spaeny and Elordi also studied the home movies that the Presleys made. “They were really great for Jacob and I. Her on the tour bus or her on a beach vacation with him, and they really just looked like two kids in love. All the glitz and glam was gone, and they were just rolling around in the sand, or she’s there hanging around the guys and the boys are playing tag with each other right next to the tour bus. Those were really special. Or there’s an amazing one of her where Elvis threw a surprise 21st birthday for her, which is so sweet.”

There was one piece of research that became her go-to reference. “I memorized it like a monologue and would say it over and over again. It was the only audio that I had of her that was closest to the time I was playing her, so I would just listen to it because she sits in a different vocal register than I do. She’s much higher, much breathier, and so I would play that over and over in my head just to have it in there as an entryway before a scene.”

Presley’s story raises some uncomfortable truths: Her astounding youth when she and Elvis met — she was 14, he 24; a horrifying scene in a Vegas motel when Elvis aggressively pins Priscilla to the bed; a scene in the studio where he angrily throws something near her head, and more generally, his infidelity and oppressive expectations of his wife. So how did Spaeny come to see these issues?

“There are definitely some shocking details in there… I mean, if you just had to do a one-minute breakdown of the most shocking moments in their relationship, it’s going to sound like one thing, but then she’s so candid in the way that she tells the story, and it’s complicated, and it does sit in a gray area, but I think if you were actually there and you were in her shoes, every choice she made along the way is completely understandable.

“It’s a very tricky story we’re telling, and I think we did our best to try to make it human and just take the facts and put them on screen. I’m really proud of the way that Sofia and all of us tried to handle it with grace and care and thoughtfulness.”

At the film’s Venice premiere, Elordi sat sandwiched between Presley and a very anxious Spaeny, who felt she might faint from fear. She tried to tell herself that whatever Presley thought of her performance, she would survive it. But then, as the lights came up, Presley turned to her. “That was a great performance,” she said. “I watched my life through you.”

Source: deadline.com

November 17th, 2023 • Veronique
GQ Men of the Year Party 2023

Cailee attended the GQ Men of the Year Party 2023 yesterday. Click on the gallery link below to see all new photos.

November 16th, 2023 • Veronique
SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations – Priscilla

Cailee attended SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations – Priscilla yesterday. Click on the gallery link below to see all new photos.

November 8th, 2023 • Veronique
Homme Girls

Can’t Help Falling in Love
For the actress Cailee Spaeny, star of Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla, the romance is real.

Cailee Spaeny is deft at inhabiting worlds on the outer edges of reality.

In the sci-fi action thriller “Pacific Rim Uprising,” she portrays a robot-fighter wunderkind with rock ‘em-sock ‘em gusto. In the supernatural horror film “The Craft: Legacy,” she’s a good girl gone grunge singing Alanis Morissette’s 1990s alterna-anthem “Hand in My Pocket” years before Olivia Rodrigo booked the band The Breeders as a tour opener. In Cailee’s new film “Priscilla”, truth is often more otherworldly than any fictional script. The biopic, directed by Sofia Coppola, is adapted from Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir “Elvis and Me” which traces the puppy love of Priscilla (played by Spaeny) and Elvis Presley (Jacob Elordi).

Spaeny, who is 25, captures the rock-and-roll romance through Priscilla’s evolving perspective, from the unseen (the film opens with Priscilla as a 16-year-old army brat hobnobbing with Elvis at grown- up cocktail parties in Germany) to the uncomfortable (in Graceland, she is dosed with 500 milligrams of Placidyl by the singer that knocks her out for 48 hours) to the unexpected (for the couple’s first kiss, Coppola and her husband Thomas Mars of the band Phoenix chose a Joan Jett cover of “Crimson and Clover” as the soundtrack.) “Priscilla took on so much and she really understood from a very young age how Elvis’s fame worked,” Spaeny said, during a recent interview over tea in London. “She always saw him as this young vulnerable man who didn’t know how to navigate a world that terrified him. Not to get into any sort of pop psychology, but it’s fascinating to think about what it all means.” Here, Spaeny discusses the pleasures of Coppola’s cinematic universe, being turned into a decades-spanning “living doll” by costume designer Stacey Battat, and the life lessons picked up from phone chats with Priscilla herself.

Alex Hawgood: Hi! So, I just caught a screening of “Priscilla” yesterday. It’s always fun to see someone’s art and then directly be able to have a chat with them about it.

Cailee Spaeny: I’m curious: Has it set in yet, do you think?

AH: I mean, in many ways, the project feels both like a matter-of-fact documentary and a hazy daydream, if that makes sense. But that seems to be how Coppola intended to capture the arch of the Presley’s bad romance — from fourteen-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu meeting twenty four-year old Elvis Presley in 1959 up to the couple’s Las Vegas wedding in 1967, the birth of their only child, Lisa Marie, one year later, and eventual Graceland separation in 1972.

CS: Well, I think you’re right to say that it is very much dreamlike and impressionistic. Sofia did such a great job in capturing their emotions in this film. I can’t take any credit for that — that’s all Sofia. I was sort of running around, like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to figure out how to keep track of the arc of the story we were telling: the long band of her life with Elvis. We shot it completely out of order in 30 days. So, one morning I’d be 14 years old. And then after lunch, I might be 24 and pregnant. It was sort of tricky to keep it all in line. Thankfully, I got to really lean on Sofia. She’s got such a distinct vision for these things. You can tell she’s mapped out in her head exactly what she needs. I could imagine her cutting scenes in her head as we were filming. You just let her do her thing and be guided by her. Having Jacob there, who was playing Elvis, was also great to lean on. We really had each other’s backs.

AH: I know the movie is based on Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir. Did you get to speak with Priscilla? I might be tempted to opt-out of involving myself in a movie about my life.

CS: I had a few sit downs and phone calls with Priscilla herself. I leaned heavily on the book and those conversations with her. It meant so much for me to get it right for her, since her narrative has been really eclipsed by him for so long. It was really major to get that right, for her. And, you know, thankfully, we had a really great time out at the Venice Film Festival, too. Priscilla was there. She seemed really moved by the film, which is all I could really ask for.

AH: Another thing I noticed is how the complications, contradictions and craziness of their courtship is captured without any 2023-style judgment.

CS: We really wanted to let go of any judgment of Priscilla’s story. Let’s hear her side and just tell everything like it was. It’s a look at the human story behind who these people were, behind the curtains. One thing that Priscilla tried to make very clear to me was that the love was there. It was real. I really just tried to hold on to that as we moved throughout their relationship, which, at times, was very complicated and tumultuous. I tried to really look at everything through her lens: What their relationship meant when they met. What were the things he found in her, and what were the things that she found in him. Their companionship, and why they felt safe with each other. Sofia told their story in a way that is very unflinching. Some of the facts, which I wasn’t aware of when I first got this script, are startling at times. But it’s important to tell stories exactly as they are and not turn away. Overall, I just tried to be open and hope the world can hear from her side.

AH: The film does a masterful job at showing how, despite the fact that he’s a rock-and-roll icon grappling with unheard of levels of fame, she grounded him.

CS: You know, I think hearing Priscilla talk about a level of loneliness in her childhood — being this Air Force brat moving around the world, not really being able to connect with anyone in a proper way — helped me understand Elvis as this man who was completely isolated and unable to deal with this never-before-seen fame. I was really taken with the way Priscilla told that side of the story. She, for whatever reason, was an open ear for him. And, you know, she was always described as an old soul. I think she was there to listen when he didn’t ever have that. She knew from a very young age how important it was for him to have that. I think she took great pride in that.

AH: You portray Priscilla at so many different pivotal stages in their life, from a teenage girl learning the ins and outs of Memphis to the mother of a young girl looking for a way out of Graceland.

CS: Honestly, I was intimidated by it. I didn’t want it to come across — well, it would have been really, sort of, awkward and strange to see this 24 year-old-actress playing someone 10 years younger than her, you know? It could end up, like, weird — just ‘off’ and creepy. Everything I did was because I really wanted it to feel genuine. And I do have a young face. So, it’s interesting: I get perceived as much younger than I am. I’ve had different numbers thrown at me throughout my career, depending on how I present myself or how I look or dress or how I’m acting. I’m sort of hyper aware of that now because of just the way that I look. And I’m short, and I’ve got a younger-looking face. So I take in how people perceive me all the time — and why they perceive me like that. I think maybe that was unconsciously there in me while we were filming. And then physicality was a big thing, in the way that I held myself. Though I thought about all those things, I really didn’t know how it was going to play out until I got there. The costumes, hair and makeup also really this grounding anchor, especially because we were filming so out of order. They sort of clocked me into, ‘Ok, this is where I am on the timescale.’ The second I put on my 1950s poodle skirt, you know, I just moved differently. And then once I was in that massive beehive with the jet-black hair, I almost had no other option but to sort of hold myself in a doll-like, stiffer way. And then once Priscilla moves into the ’70s — and she gets her bell bottom jeans and her blown out blonde hair and her tan and her glow — that influenced my movement and how I held myself in those scenes. So, it was all really important.

AH: Beyond Priscilla’s amazing hair, body and face, the film is a visual Elvis feast. I was particularly obsessed with the tufted black leather walls of his boudoir and the life-size wooden sculpture of an Afghan Hound by his desk.

CS: It was unreal, right? Sofia works with the same people over and over again, which is a testament to her and says a lot about how important getting details right is for her. Sometimes I would be a bit confused, like, ‘Why are we spending so much time having this shot of me putting on my shoes? I don’t get it.’ But watching the film, it’s so moving — you know, this young girl wandering through Graceland surrounded by stillness and quietness. You see that in films from the ’70s, which is my Golden Age of filmmaking. I feel like these days, we’re obsessed with the pacing and keeping people entertained. There’s just something about Sofia, as a person and as a director, where she exudes stillness as confidence. And you can feel that pride in her filmmaking. I do feel like I became a pro at insert shots by the end of the film. You know, I had to lay dresses out exactly in the right place or, I would take out a Chanel perfume that had to land perfectly in the light. Like, I got pretty good at it. By the end, I understood what Sofia was doing.

AH: Costume designer Stacey Battat nailed the film’s decades-spanning wardrobe.

CS: I got really good at walking in heels, which, anyone who knows me knows is so far from who I am. I mean, if I’m comfy, I’m good. Like, I love sweatpants. I don’t ever wear dresses unless I have to. But it was so much fun to play in that world. And Stacy, who Sofia has worked with multiple times, had such a mountain to climb with this movie. There were more costume changes for me than page count, which was sort of astonishing. I did the math one day. I was like, ‘Oh my god.’ I mean, the hours of costume fittings Stacy put in — the use of colors and what they mean throughout the story alone — it’s just… And I think it was really satisfying taking those iconic looks that we all know — one of them, in particular, I just think sort of says so much. I love the moment where Priscilla is putting on false eyelashes, right before she goes to give birth. That’s something straight out of the book. That shot just gives you so much context. I remember the sun was going down, so we had no time to shoot it. We did it in two or three takes. Or, the huge beehive and this beautiful hot pink thigh length dress she wears after she gave birth to Lisa Marie. I mean, to be able to wear a look on set and then compare it, side by side, with the actual real-life moment is just so incredible. Our makeup and hair trailer was covered in photos tracking Priscilla’s actual life. I felt like a real life doll. Sofia and her team just sort of swirl around me and do their magic. And I just sort of got to, you know, then live in it. It was a great time — a great, great time.

Source: hommegirls.com

November 7th, 2023 • Veronique
Backstage Magazine

How Cailee Spaeny Drew on Her Early Acting Ambitions to Portray Priscilla Presley

When Cailee Spaeny and Priscilla Presley were 14 years old, both their lives changed.

In 1959, Presley met her husband-to-be, Elvis—who was 10 years her senior—while living with her mother and stepfather in West Germany. In 2012, Spaeny was growing up in Missouri, struggling in school, and pursuing any artistic outlet she could find. That was when she convinced her parents to drive her to Los Angeles so she could begin her acting career.

“I think if you meet an ambitious 14-year-old girl, there’s sort of nothing you can tell someone [at] that age,” Spaeny says. “They’ve got their eyes on the prize, and that was definitely me.” In “Priscilla,” Sofia Coppola’s latest biopic, Presley (née Wagner) tells her parents that she would have found a way to be with Elvis even if they had refused to let her see him. Spaeny, who plays her in the film, understands that impulse. “I probably would have jumped into some random person’s car to get to Los Angeles,” she says of her own motivation. “I would have hustled my way there.”

That effort paid off. “Priscilla” is the pinnacle of the 25-year-old actor’s still-nascent career. She plays Presley over the span of more than a decade, as she meets, falls in love with, marries, and then divorces Elvis (“Euphoria” star Jacob Elordi). Along the way, she evolves from a nervous girl in a ponytail and poodle skirt into the black-haired, cat-eyed woman we recognize from photographs.

Spaeny’s performance is defined less by her dialogue than by subtle expressions and gestures. She perfectly captures both Presley’s longing for Elvis and her frustration at the ways he comes to control and shape her life. She took home the Volpi Cup for best actress at this year’s Venice International Film Festival; but perhaps even more meaningful than the trophy was the praise she received from Presley herself. “At the afterparty, she took me aside and said, ‘I watched my life through you, and I’m so impressed by you,’ ” Spaeny recalls. Dressed in an oversized sweatshirt, she’s speaking over video chat from London, fresh from a photo shoot. (The actor is able to promote the film thanks to an Interim Strike Agreement with SAG-AFTRA.)

Her rise from ambitious teen to internationally recognized performer didn’t happen right away. After that first fateful road trip with her parents, she auditioned for about four years without booking any roles. “I sort of had this unwavering faith,” she says in her soft Southern accent. “I did not think I was going to be leading things or being in big-budget films. I was happy to do anything in terms of filmmaking.”

Then, at age 18, she landed a lead role opposite John Boyega in 2018’s “Pacific Rim: Uprising.” She appeared in three other high-profile movies that same year: Drew Goddard’s neo-noir “Bad Times at the El Royale,” Mimi Leder’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic “On the Basis of Sex,” and Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney drama “Vice.” She went on to play a budding witch in Zoe Lister-Jones’ “The Craft: Legacy” and a young male tech genius on Alex Garland’s surreal television series “Devs.” But nothing on her résumé is as high-profile as “Priscilla.”

Spaeny was a fan of Coppola years before she entered her world; the actor discovered the filmmaker’s 1999 feature directorial debut “The Virgin Suicides” when she was around 15 years old. “It was like something unlocked in me,” she says. “Especially living in a conservative Bible Belt area of America, ideas get projected onto you. It was the first time I ever felt seen…. Like, I do have sadness and wants and crushes and longings and dreams. I think that’s something [Coppola] takes in and takes very seriously.”

Spaeny isn’t sure if the director remembers, but she auditioned for Coppola’s never-produced version of the live-action “The Little Mermaid” way back in her teens. From there, she stayed in the Coppola family orbit, at one point reading for Francis Ford Coppola’s “Megalopolis.”

When Coppola asked to meet Spaeny over coffees in New York, the actor had no idea she was about to get the opportunity of a lifetime. “The whole time, I’m thinking, What is going on?” she recalls. “And then she pulls out her iPad and starts showing me photos of Priscilla Presley.” Spaeny was shocked.

In the end, she didn’t even have to audition—especially after their mutual friend Kirsten Dunst, a frequent Coppola collaborator, put in a good word. (Dunst and Spaeny are costarring in Garland’s upcoming action film “Civil War.”)

Spaeny says that going into “Priscilla” without auditioning was “slightly terrifying, because I’m like, ‘You haven’t seen me try to do it.’ But [Coppola] had faith in me from beginning to end, which obviously made a huge difference.”

The actor wasn’t a newcomer to the story of the King of Rock ’n’ Roll: Born in Tennessee and raised in southern Missouri, Spaeny was surrounded by Elvis fans. “We grew up going to Graceland for vacations,” she says. “I really have this vivid memory of walking around Graceland: ‘If I Can Dream’ is playing on the speakers, and [I’m] looking up [at] my dad, and he’s just crying.”

She knew less, however, about Priscilla. In researching the role, she leaned heavily on Presley’s 1985 autobiography “Elvis and Me,” co-written by Sandra Harmon, which was Coppola’s source material for the film. But Spaeny also benefited from meetings with Presley herself.

“I didn’t want her to feel like she was being quizzed on her life, since she’s had such a wild journey and has gone through so many ups and downs,” the actor says. “I really wanted to see what she felt like she was comfortable telling me.” Presley opened up to her, sharing anecdotes about her emotional state that went beyond the book’s contents. For example, she recalled being hungry the first time she met Elvis, but she refused food because she couldn’t imagine eating in front of the King. “Those details were really precious,” Spaeny says.

But she adds that, in many ways, she’s very unlike Priscilla. “The clothes that I’m wearing, the way that I’m sitting, my register of voice, everything about me—I couldn’t be more different from her. For such a long time, she had to be the wife of not only this person, but also this brand—this product that was being sold that was Elvis Presley.”

Coppola shot “Priscilla” out of order over the course of 30 days, which meant that sometimes, Spaeny would have to be pregnant adult Priscilla in the morning and 14-year-old Priscilla after lunch. Makeup and hair changes helped her keep track of all of those shifts. “I really leaned into whatever costume I was wearing,” she says. “It would inform how I would hold my body and my movements.” When she put on jeans and had her hair styled into Presley’s 1970s post-divorce blowout, Spaeny felt like she could loosen up; it was a stark difference from the controlled “doll” she had to embody when standing beside Elvis.

Spaeny was deeply involved in the hair and makeup process. “I [can] do a winged eyeliner in my sleep now,” she says. The movie opens with a close-up of Priscilla executing that very look. “Everyone was in the room, staring,” she recalls. “I was sort of doing it blindly, and just the muscle memory of that, which was really scary; but I think everyone clapped for me after they got the shot.” She adds, self-deprecatingly, “That was, like, the most impressive thing I did [in] the film.”

Because of the intensity of the shoot, Coppola knew the actors would need to blow off steam; she even went so far as adding an on-set pickleball court. The filmmaker would also play music to help her actors capture the desired mood of a scene. Spaeny remembers that halfway through the shoot, Coppola decided that Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” was Priscilla’s sound. Spaeny says that she played the song out loud “so it’s not just you, the actor, who’s feeling it. It’s the whole crew—so they sort of lock [into]: Oh, I know what we’re trying to tell in this scene; and everyone’s more engaged.”

Though the whirlwind production process has already paid off with that Volpi Cup, the actor says she’s trying to take the accolades with a “grain of salt…. It’s hard for me to accept compliments.”

As for what comes next, Spaeny’s future is wide open. She doesn’t even have a home base at the moment; she’s been living out of a suitcase for about two years. But her love of London means that she’s finding herself returning to the city again and again.

One thing the actor does know is that she wants to keep pushing herself. And it’s a sure bet that her next big project—Fede Alvarez’s “Alien: Romulus,” which is in postproduction—will be very different from “Priscilla.”

“I’d love to do anything that’s the exact opposite of what I’ve just done, whether it’s the tone or the character or the medium,” she says. “Acting’s always like solving a puzzle to me. The second I feel like I’ve got the hang of it, something shifts. And that’s the chase that’s always living in me. That’s where the hunger comes from.”

Though she’s older now, Spaeny still sounds a lot like that 14-year-old girl who couldn’t be stopped.

Source: backstage.com

November 3rd, 2023 • Veronique
V Magazine

V145: It’s Time For Cailee Spaeny

In the calm before the media storm, V sat down with the ‘Priscilla’ actor to gab about entertainment in the Southern Midwest, gaining the Coppolas’ affections, and stepping into the role of Hollywood’s most iconic leading women for her cover shoot

Fourteen is not an age most people are eager to revisit.

It is a time of doubting everything, reckoning with the sudden emergence of acne, hair, boobs (or lack thereof), and feeling so close to adulthood while still being, for all intents and purposes, a child. It’s the most fertile age for insecurity to blossom, yet it’s also when a lot of young people start to feel more certain in their voice and sense of self—however in flux that identity may be. When Priscilla Presley was fourteen, she met the biggest rockstar in the world, Elvis Presley, and convinced her parents to let her be with him. When Cailee Spaeny, the actor who portrayed Priscilla Presley in Sofia Coppola’s latest film, Priscilla, was fourteen, she had dropped out of school and, similarly, convinced her parents to let her perform. As Spaeny tells me, “Don’t underestimate a determined fourteen-year-old girl. They’re the most powerful thing on earth.”

In the eleven years since giving her parents the ultimatum, Spaeny has starred alongside A-listers like Dakota Johnson, Felicity Jones, and Kate Winslet, she closed Miu Miu’s SS24 runway (following supermodel Gigi Hadid), and now, she’s fulfilled one of her biggest dreams, playing the lead role in a Sofia Coppola film. Talking to her over Zoom—Spaeny tuned in from London the day after her runway debut—it’s obvious (and very charming) that she’s in disbelief over her newfound It-girl status. “Okay, cool girl,” she says when I tell her I’m tuning in from Manhattan’s East Village. I remind her that she’s about to fly to New York for the American premiere of her latest movie, Priscilla—arguably way cooler than mouse traps and pre-war plumbing—and she demures, “I’ll be slightly intimidated, but it should be fun.”

Throughout our conversation, Spaeny gushes the way any 25-year-old would gush if she were cast in a Coppola film, while still possessing a sense of pragmatism when it comes to the industry’s attention span. It’s refreshing. It’s real. It makes you wonder about her journey to Priscilla, and to stardom. Between her hotel room in London and my girlfriend’s apartment on 5th Street, we chat about the actress’ colorful life in Southern Missouri, IRL conversations with Priscilla Presley, life on a Sofia Coppola set (pickleball tournaments included), her tribute to the stars of yesteryear in her shoot with V, and the pep-talk she got from Gigi Hadid right before closing the Miu Miu show. When I ask how she feels about her impending rise, she cites the advice she got from Hadid about how to walk the runway: “Take in how the room smells, take in all the details. Because you don’t want to blank and not remember these moments.” Thanks, Gigi.

V Magazine: Is this your first cover story? Just out of curiosity.

Cailee Spaeny: I think so? The press for this film has been the most full-on, extensive amount of press that I’ve ever done in my life.

V: I guess when you’re in and out of shoots you’re kind of like, where is this gonna go?

CS: Yeah! Like, I hope I looked okay. I hope I sound somewhat intelligent.

V: Totally. So, I’d love to know more about you. Where are you from?

CS: I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and I was raised in southern Missouri. Sort of the Bible belt of the world. I’m one of nine siblings. I’m the seventh.

V: You’re the seventh! What has your family’s reaction been to all this?

CS: It’s definitely been big. Elvis is American royalty but in the South, he’s like a God. My mom was a mega-fan. She collected Elvis memorabilia and had, like, a shrine of him.

V: Really?

CS: Full on. She named one of her kid’s middle names after him. She had all of his albums. We grew up going to Graceland on vacations. I have this vivid memory of walking around and hearing “If I Can Dream” on the speakers, looking up at my dad, and seeing him tear up. That really stuck with me. It was exciting to get to dive into this world I knew and loved but through the eyes of this teenage girl.

V: What was your way into that story?

CS: I read Prescilla’s memoir and Sofia’s script was heavily influenced by that, but the key part was meeting Priscilla herself. Most of her time on Earth has been her life with Elvis and retelling that story. She wanted to be as open and honest with me as possible and let me know that I could call her at any point throughout the filming process.

V: Did you ever take her up on that?

CS: Right up until we started filming, I called on her just to go over how her relationships were with each person in the story—specifically the Memphis Mafia. How was she around those guys? Did she lean back or did she feel like she needed to be one of the guys? She would say, “All the guys had wives. But I didn’t feel like I could get close to the wives either because I knew things about the husbands that I could never tell the wives.” That spoke to her isolation on a different level. Because this film is so impressionistic and more about the mood and emotions, those little details matter. She told me she was starving when she went to Elvis’ place in Germany the first time they met. When she was offered by Elvis to have a bacon sandwich, she said, “No,” because she was like, “I cannot eat a bacon sandwich in front of Elvis Presley.” [But] I really tried to sit back and see what she felt comfortable talking about even if it had nothing to do with Elvis.

V: Did you relate to her story?

CS: She was an [Air Force] brat and never felt like she could connect with her peers. From a very young age, she understood the meaning of loneliness. I dropped out of school when I was 13, so I didn’t have connections to kids my own age either. I was always around adults. She was always told when she was younger that she was an old soul and that’s something that I continuously got when I was around that age as well. She was always really quiet and observant of people which I—people always commented that was how I was too. So that was a way in.

V: You said the script kind of found its way to you. How did that happen?

CS: I mean, Sofia was genuinely my ultimate director when I was a kid. When I found Virgin Suicides, it was the first time I thought, “Who’s behind the camera?” Finding out it was a young female director was so exciting. She was like nobody else. I don’t know if she even remembers this—she was trying to put together this movie The Little Mermaid and I auditioned for her. It was the first callback I got in Los Angeles, [but] that film ended up not going through. Francis’ producer knew about me through those auditions and I ended up doing a table read for [forthcoming Francis Ford Coppola film] Megalopolis. So, the Coppolas always ended up coming back around in this funny way…

V: That’s surreal.

CS: It was really strange… I got a call one day saying, “Sofia wants to meet you in New York,” with no context. I didn’t ask any questions, just packed my bag and got on a plane.

V: As you do.

CS: Sat down with her, had some coffee and a croissant, and we had a nice conversation, but I’m wondering what’s going on here. She pulled out an iPad and started showing me photos of Priscilla and said, “I want to do a movie on Priscilla Presley, I think you could play her.” There [were] gonna be talks of auditions but then Kirsten Dunst—obviously her muse–put in a good word for me and that, I think, was the final step. The crossover of those worlds was absolutely wild.

V: I can’t imagine that. Being 15 and auditioning, and the Coppolas are calling you… I mean…

CS: Yeah, I’ve done some real manifesting for this. Now I don’t know what to do with myself! That was the dream goal and it happened in such a magical way, so I gotta go back to the drawing board now.

V: And make a new dream goal!

CS: I don’t know how it gets better than this though.

V: We kind of glossed over this, but you said you dropped out of school at 13.

CS: Yeah.

V: To pursue acting?

CS: Well, no, acting sort of followed that. I was really terrible at school. Teachers loved me. I just didn’t test well. I didn’t understand how to get my brain to work in a certain way that seemed like everyone else could. So, I dropped out and I started doing theater. Small town musical theater and like cheesy musicals. I also was in a cover band, writing my own music… taking piano lessons, guitar lessons, then started performing at a theme park… I would do infomercials… anything I could get my hands on in terms of entertainment in the southern Midwest. I ran out of things to do and begged my parents to take me to Los Angeles. It’s funny, it wasn’t until after the film that I put together that that was the same age that Priscilla gave her parents that ultimatum. Priscilla’s like, “I would’ve gone if they told me yes or no,” and I was the same way at 14. If my parents were gonna help me, great, but if they weren’t, I was gonna find my way. But they did help me and I understood the seriousness of that. We would take the minivan and drive from the prairie to Los Angeles which was about a 25-hour drive. We didn’t have a lot of money. We stayed in crap hotels. We stayed at friends’ places. We would end up with random families that we met at church events. We’d stay in one room for four months, on two cots and an air mattress with my mom and two other siblings. The weight of that hit me. If I’m being really honest, it was a dream of mine. I had a lot of passion for it, but I also knew I had to make this work. I auditioned for four years without hearing anything. Don’t underestimate a determined 14-year-old girl. They’re the most powerful thing on earth.

V: Yeah, they are.

CS: It’s so interesting… the parallel.

V: It’s a parallel most people wouldn’t be able to have. It’s very unique.

CS: I think it took me completely feeling lost, not knowing what to do with my life, and failing, to shift gears at the age of 14 and try to make some gameplan. Priscilla was the same in the sense that she did not want to be in Germany, she couldn’t make any friends. Then she fell in love and she saw this other life and she was determined to follow that.

V: She wanted to get that other life. Yeah, that’s remarkable. Truly. Congratulations.

CS: Thank you.

V: So, tell me about the shoot. What was it like working with Sofia? What was it like on set?

CS: We shot it in Toronto. We only had 30 days to film this movie, which is not a lot of time to get a film of this scale down in the right way, especially when it comes to locations, hair, makeup, and costume changes. We had more costume changes than page count—

V: Whoa!

CS: Fittings were very extensive. Stacey Battat, our costume designer did a fabulous job with the budget we had and the person I was playing, who’s such an icon in fashion. With Jacob and I… Jacob stayed in the accent and vibe when we were filming and therefore, I did too—not that I’m method. When you’re in it, when all you do is go to set and think about this character all day for 30 days, it just sort of lingers around. Jacob and I took the time to really get to know each other before we started filming. The second I knew he was cast, I emailed him, and I started setting up bonding activities. (Laughs.) We went horse riding in LA because Elvis and Priscilla did that. I think we work in similar ways. He was a great study buddy and he had a really massive task ahead of him: playing an Elvis that was sort of behind closed doors [and] from Priscilla’s perspective. I think he did it beautifully.

V: And Sofia?

CS: Sofia is such an interesting director because she’s so soft-spoken. A lot of the time directors command authority onset through having to prove themselves, usually by being the tough guy. But Sofia is the exact opposite of that. Her friends say she’s like an iron fist in a silk glove. She makes playlists to get the cast and crew in the mood. She had a pickleball court that she made on set. It turned into a whole thing. We had a full-on tournament. People are at their best and most creative when they feel relaxed and comfortable. She knows exactly how to do that and she does it with such kindness and grace. It’s a dream to work on her sets and fascinating to watch her in action.

V: It sounds like summer camp in heaven.

CS: It genuinely was! I mean, other than the massive amounts of pressure to get this role right, it was like summer camp.

V: Do you remember any of the songs she had on the playlists?

CS: Well, she loves Prince. I adore Prince. Prince was on my wall as a child.

V: Oh, that’s cute.

CS: That was a fun thing to bond over. There was a Prince song I hadn’t heard before, I think it’s called “Starfish & Coffee.” She decided that Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” was my song. I’d come in a new pastel dress, new hairdo, tons of eyeliner, and high heels, and I’d walk into this beautiful candy-colored Graceland and she’d play Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You.” It holds such a special place in my heart whenever I hear it now. Obviously, for the last frame, “I Will Always Love You” plays. It was very important to [Coppola] to have a speaker in the back of that car. She was like, “Make sure there’s a speaker in the car so Cailee can hear the song.” I think it was on day one when we shot that [last] scene. It was incredibly out of order.

V: I love the choice of “I Will Always Love You” at the end because it really feels true to Priscilla’s story.

CS: Dolly is such a big part of the South and I grew up with her as well, but that song held a really special place for Priscilla because as she and Elvis were getting divorced, Elvis sang “I Will Always Love You” sort of whispering into her ear as they’re leaving the courtroom. To know that it was actually a song between Elvis and Priscilla at the end of their relationship is kind of wild.

V: It is wild. What a flair for drama, Elvis.

CS: Crazy.

V: As I’m sure you know, Sofia often revisits her muses as she has with Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning. How do you see your relationship with her working out in the future?

CS: I have no idea. I mean, I would absolutely love to work with her again. I would do anything in cast or crew, I would be a background, I would assist, I would literally do anything. If she’d have me, I would take it in a heartbeat. But, this experience as a whole, I’m just trying to savor it, because it’s such a special moment in my life.

V: Of course. I have a question that may require you to look outside and into yourself, but what do you think is that quality that draws Sofia to certain women?

CS: God. Do I have to like, compare myself to Elle Fanning and some of the best actresses around? (Laughs.) I don’t know. When I watched [Coppola’s films], what I found really freeing was that she’s not afraid to lean into or underestimate a teenage girl’s loneliness and sadness. What they long for, yearn for, their hopes and dreams, and their crushes. She said this before, too, that she felt annoyed by the way that teenage girls were depicted in movies. I think she completely flipped that narrative on its head. That’s why when young women watch her films—even if it’s something you haven’t confronted as a young girl—there’s something inside you bubbling. To have that sort of seen and confirmed in me was so freeing. So, I guess for those young women that she works with, it’s something that they also feel. Imaginative young girls who’ve had a relationship with loneliness and aren’t afraid to confront that just as she has through her films. That would be my first guess.

V: That’s a good answer! So the shoot for V was inspired by the stars of yesteryear and this golden age of Hollywood. Do you have a relationship with any of the women that you portrayed? In this case, it’s Liza [Minnelli], Audrey Hepburn, and Liz Taylor.

CS: As a young actress, I think it’s important to go back and look at the women who paved the way. In different ways, they were all unapologetically themselves. I find them fascinating on-screen and off-screen. I’m having a lot of fun in terms of fashion looking at these timeless beauties who have what I think we lack in today’s age: mystery. That’s what keeps us coming back to them, they kept something to themselves. They leaned into the performance of being a star.

V: Speaking of fashion, you recently walked Miu Miu’s runway.

CS: I did that yesterday.

V: Literally yesterday. What the heck? What was that like?

CS: I know! But no one told me I was closing the show. I went there for my fitting and they were like, “You’re our little surprise at the end!” I was like, “What do you mean?” and they went, “Yeah, you’re closing the show.” I was thanking the fashion gods that they’re bringing the sandal back so I didn’t have to go up those stairs in heels. We were all lining up and I was so nervous. Then Gigi got there and she said, “Okay, so how are you feeling?” and I said, “Well, Gigi, I don’t know. I’m nervous…” and she said, “No, you go at your own pace and don’t let anyone tell you what to do.” She said, “You look right in the middle of those photographers. That’s the best angle. You just do your own thing. All you have to do is walk and take your time.” And I was like okay, Gigi, okay. Then we got off the stage and she turned to me and she started screaming, “How do you feel!?” and I was like, “I feel like a rock staaaaaar!”

V: Yeah!

CS: She was so supportive. She was like, “And that’s what we call closing the show.” She’s so cute. She really rooted me on. I was like, I can’t believe I’m getting runway advice from one of the best models of our times. This is so cool. (Laughs)

V: Like, unbelievable.

CS: The theatrics and the pace and the energy are just crazy backstage. I felt like I was doing theater. Pat McGrath did the makeup and she was like a mother to everyone. She grabbed my hand and was like, “We’re so happy to have you.” I was like, “What’s going on?!” I don’t think I ever want to sit at another show again. I want to walk all of them. Miu Miu’s been really good to me. And the collection was absolutely beautiful.

V: It was! There’s nothing cooler than a Miu Miu girl. You likened this runway to a theater production and I feel like right now this is kind of your moment before the curtains are about to lift. You’ve rehearsed this show, the industry people have seen it, and now your name is going to be up in lights and everyone is going to know you. How have you prepared for that?

CS: Is that what’s gonna happen?

V: I think so…

CS: I think the best thing to do is not prepare. Oh, Gigi did say… “Take in how the room smells, take in all the details. Because you don’t want to blank and not remember these moments.” I feel like I sort of did that when I accepted the [Volpi Cup]. I was so nervous. So, I’m just trying to breathe, accept that I put a lot of hard work and thought into it, and just enjoy it because I’m a very lucky person. I’ve got good people around me, I get to travel, and I like the film that I’m promoting—which doesn’t always happen. But the biggest compliment that I could have gotten was after the festival. Priscilla came up to me and said, “I saw my life through you.” I don’t need anything else. Now I get to enjoy. That was all I needed to hear.

Source: vmagazine.com

October 30th, 2023 • Veronique
26th SCAD Savannah Film Festival – Gala Screening Of Priscilla And Award Presentation To Cailee Spaeny (Breakthrough Award)

Cailee attended the 26th SCAD Savannah Film Festival – Gala Screening Of Priscilla And Award Presentation To Cailee Spaeny (Breakthrough Award) on 27 October. Click on the gallery links below to see all new photos.

October 25th, 2023 • Veronique
InStyle Magazine

Cailee Spaeny Has Arrived

You might not know Cailee Spaeny yet, but after her award-winning turn in Sofia Coppola’s ‘Priscilla,’ you most certainly will.

Talk about a whirlwind. Over the past several weeks, Cailee Spaeny, star of Sofia Coppola’s new Priscilla Presley biopic, Priscilla, has bounced from London, where she’s been staying since summer, to Paris, where she closed the Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2024 runway show. Then it was straight to America to spend a few days promoting the movie at the New York Film Festival, only to jump on a plane back to the UK for the BFI London Film Festival.

But here, tucked away in a cozy corner of her hotel’s restaurant on a rainy morning, her short hair slicked back away from her face and a black leather blazer shielding her from the autumn chill, Spaeny is as cool as a cucumber. She’s not remotely flustered by the gauntlet of press still lined up ahead of Priscilla’s November release.

“I want to do whatever’s best for the film,” she says simply. “I’m really proud of this film, and I think it’s rare to promote a film that you genuinely love, and you genuinely care about the people who worked on it.”

Until she started doing press for the movie, Spaeny, 25, didn’t realize that her own story shares a common thread with Presley’s: She, too, begged her parents to let her drop out of school at a young age—only her love was for performing, not an age-inappropriate pop star.

“Come up against a driven 14-year-old girl, and good

luck,” Spaeny says, referring to both herself and Presley. “I just knew at a very young age that, for some reason, my brain wasn’t going to work in that sort of system.”

By 14, Spaeny says, she had determined that she wasn’t cut out for traditional education. She was failing all of her classes, despite the fact that her teachers liked her and would sometimes secretly let her retake tests. (“I was a teachers’ pet in the sense that I would never make friends with the kids that were my age and always hang out with the teachers during recess, and I think they all felt bad for me,” Spaeny says with a laugh.) What she did have a talent for was performing, a skill serendipitously spotted while singing in her kids’ rock cover band by a guy who knew a guy who knew a manager.

“I was like, Oh my God, I’ve made it. I remember getting the card and thinking it was for the band. He’s like, ‘No, no, it’s just for you,’” she says, still slightly sheepish about it. “That was a huge piece of the puzzle, though, because it got me my first trip to L.A.”

After that chance meeting, she became “hell-bent” on pursuing a performing arts career and mocked up a presentation for her parents arguing why she should be able to swap high school for her silver screen dreams. Spaeny must’ve put together one hell of a Powerpoint slideshow: Not only did her family let her drop out, they packed up the car and made the three-day drive from Springfield, Missouri, to Los Angeles, where the family spent a month in an apartment across from the Warner Brothers lot taking Spaeny to meetings until she got signed.

Spaeny wouldn’t score her first major role (Amara in Pacific Rim: Uprising) until she was 18—but that didn’t mean she was resting on her laurels. Knowing that she needed to find an outlet for her self-expression and a way to socialize without classes, she grasped at any opportunity to act that she could find in Missouri: She joined the local community theater, performed at a theme park in Branson called Silver Dollar City, picked up roles in her friends’ short films, and even took on infomercial work.

Instead of attending an acting school, Spaeny cobbled together her own education, locking herself in her bedroom and watching at least one film a day to study what made the performances stand out. Through this process, she stumbled across Coppola’s Virgin Suicides and was immediately transfixed. It was the first time she’d thought about who was behind the camera, and she quickly burned through Coppola’s entire body of work. The signature themes of Coppola’s films resonated with teenage Spaeny.

“Especially growing up in southern Missouri in the church, I felt like no one had ever really seen or accepted the teen angst a girl can have, the sadness within young teenage girls,” Spaeny says. “It wasn’t until I watched Sofia’s films that I was like, Oh, someone has acknowledged that you can be a young, cute girl but also have real darkness and angst in you, and this longing for another life or love or whatever it is.”

Coppola rose to the top of Spaeny’s dream director list. She’d auditioned for Coppola a few times, and knew she was on her casting director’s radar, but when it came time to cast the titular role of Priscilla, it was Coppola’s muse Kirsten Dunst who ultimately helped Spaeny nab the job. “When my friend Kirsten told me I had to see Cailee for the role, I paid attention,” Coppola says. “I knew when I met Cailee over breakfast that she’d be perfect. She was obsessed with Priscilla and had done her research.”

It was Spaeny’s dream role, to be sure, but it was also an immense challenge. She was 24 when they shot the movie, but she had to portray Priscilla between ages 14 and 28. To make it just a little bit harder, the entire film was shot in one month, requiring that Spaeny juggle multiple ages in the same day. “That was pretty mad,” she admits. “I’d be a pregnant mother in the morning, and then after lunch, I’d be 14 years old.”

Spaeny was more than capable of handling herself; watching the movie, it is incredible to realize that the same actress convincingly plays both a skittish teenage Priscilla and the self-assured mother she would become. “[Spaeny] would switch her body language and her voice. Everything,” Coppola says. “It was really impressive to watch her transform during the day. She was really good at capturing what it feels like to be a kid.”

The costumes, helmed by longtime Coppola collaborator Stacey Battat, were a huge help, and there were plenty of them for Spaeny to lean on. (“One day I did the math, and I think there were more costumes for Priscilla than page count on the script, which was just bonkers,” Spaeny says.) When Priscilla is with Elvis at the height of his power, the beehive and restrictive clothing required Spaeny to move almost like a doll; older Priscilla sports a tan and casual apparel, allowing Spaeny to feel more at home in her skin.

Any fan of Coppola’s work knows the role music plays in her films; that attention to detail extends to her sets as well. Hand-picked playlists established the tone each day. “Maybe halfway through the shoot, she decided that when I walked onto the scene, she would play Mazzy Star’s ‘Fade Into You,’” Spaeny says. “I already loved that song so much, but now every time I hear it, I think of filming on set with her, and it was perfect: the way that Priscilla would move and speak and have this dream-like fantasy world that she was living in within Graceland.”

I ask Spaeny if she watches baseball (this has a point, I promise), and she tells me that she does, mostly when she can be physically at the game and enjoy nachos with a cold beer. “I feel like, when you’re from the place where I’m from, there’s certain sports that it would be criminal if I didn’t watch,” she jokes. “Like, I obviously have to be a Kansas City Chiefs fan, and I’m also a St. Louis Cardinals fan.” (When asked about Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce’s much-buzzed-about romance with Taylor Swift, the self-proclaimed Swiftie responds: “My brain can’t take in my worlds colliding.”)

In baseball, I remind her, batters get to choose a song to play when they head to the plate, dubbed a “walk-up song.” I point out that her dream director basically gave her one.

“Yeah! ‘Fade Into You’ is my walk-up song, which is so sick—also from Sofia Coppola’s eyes,” she says, lighting up. “I mean, it doesn’t get any cooler.”

Of course, Priscilla needed an Elvis, and Jacob Elordi brings an entirely new take to the oft-imitated legend—not an easy task when so many have been immortalized to film. Elordi’s Elvis is needier, more childlike than the self-assured, swaggered-up versions we’ve seen before, viewed in the quieter moments behind closed doors.

For this Elvis, Priscilla represents the one thing he can control, an unending source of comfort that he can keep (mostly) pure from the parts of himself that he doesn’t like. There’s a protective undercurrent to his feelings that Spaeny helped draw out of Elordi.

“Cailee is incredibly sensitive and deep, somebody who feels everything and has seen lives well beyond her own, like Priscilla,” the actor says. “It inspired a very real need for tenderness and care in me that felt not too dissimilar to the relationship we played in the film.”

As Elordi and Spaeny play them, you can almost understand why a 24-year-old Elvis would want to spend so much time with a 14-year-old Priscilla—emphasis on almost. The actress says she couldn’t have asked for a better partner than Elordi. “They have such a specific relationship,” Spaeny explains. “There are definitely tumultuous times, but there was also great love there, and I don’t think I could have done those scenes if I didn’t trust him as a person and as an actor. But I did, absolutely.”

The two are friends, and I tell Spaeny that I have to ask her about a quote Elordi gave me. “Working with Cailee was a dream. Her attention to detail and her care for the work is astounding,” I read to her from his email. “My favorite memory is her reverence of the USS Indianapolis speech from Jaws by Robert Shaw.”

Spaeny bursts out laughing and covers her face. “The first week of working, I tried to get in by showing off my movie knowledge a bit with Sofia and Jacob,” she says, explaining that they were discussing the best monologues in film history. “I thought they would know the monologue, and they didn’t. But I did actually get Jacob with that one, obviously, because he still remembers that, which was the first week of rehearsals.”

(I tell her that I’ve never even seen Jaws; I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone look this disappointed with me. “You want to do that tonight, maybe?” she says, more gentle command than suggestion.)
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Spaeny calls Priscilla an “impressionistic film,” one which relies more on memories and emotions than it does dialogue. Still, she manages to communicate all the contours of Priscilla’s life even while silent, whether she’s wandering through an empty Graceland or putting on false eyelashes before going to the hospital to give birth. Crucial to this understanding was the access granted to Spaeny by Priscilla Presley herself. They met a few times and spoke over the phone, and she was able to draw off details not in the source material, Priscilla Presley’s memoir, Elvis and Me.

All her research paid off: The film opened at the Venice Film Festival to rave reviews, and Spaeny—who had already flown back to the UK—was told to return to Italy to receive a prize. She didn’t know she was about to receive the best actress award for her very first performance in the festival.

“I was shaking the whole time I was in the audience… I’m still trying to process it,” she says, adding with sincere humility, “I hope it’s a good thing for the film, and it was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

But the most important reaction for Spaeny was Presley’s. “I wanted Priscilla to watch this movie and to feel safe, and feel like she was watching her story through my performance,” she says. Presley told Spaeny ahead of filming that she had “all the faith in the world” that Spaeny would be great, and served as something of a cheerleader early in the process, but didn’t see the finished product until its premiere. “Nothing prepared me mentally for the moment of me watching the film for the first time with Priscilla Presley sitting right next to me,” Spaeny says. “It was such an out of body experience.” A now-viral video shows Presley wiping away tears during the film’s standing ovation.

Presley being the style icon that she is, it’s only fitting that the fashion world is paying attention to Spaeny’s rising star, too. She has contracts with Bulgari and Miu Miu, and she’s working with stylist Nicky Yates to develop her red carpet style. Of closing Miu Miu’s latest show, she says that while she was nervous at first, the theater-like energy backstage helped her feel at-home. “Now I don’t ever want to go watch a show, I only want to be in them,” she jokes. Supermodel Gigi Hadid even served as her impromptu runway coach. “She’s like, ‘Tell me how you feel, don’t feel rushed, this is where you look when the photographers are taking photos of you,’” Spaeny recalls. “And then at the end, she started screaming and gave me a hug. She was saying, ‘That’s how you close the show, everybody!’ She was really pumping me up.” (It helped, too, that Spaeny got to wear sandals. “The fashion gods were really blessing me. I didn’t have to think about tripping.”)

It’s clear, even over coffee, that Spaeny is an actor on the precipice of something big. Moments like this can go straight to an actor’s head, Spaeny knows, and she wants to be careful accepting the praise. Awards and accolades don’t guarantee more work or long careers. Now that she’s manifested her dream gig in under a decade of work—“It completely exceeded my expectations, and my expectations were very high, because she is a hero,” she says of working with Coppola, a little awestruck even now—it’s time to create new goals.

“Now I get to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out what I want to do with my career next, what choices I want to make. Having the response to this film, I feel really lucky that I have some freedom in choosing what I want to do,” she says.

Whatever on-screen roles she takes on next, they’ll be the complete opposite of anything she’s done so far, a throughline of her career. She’s zigged from sci-fi in Pacific Rim: Uprising to neo-noir in Bad Times at the El Royale, zagged from playing a young Lynne Cheney in Vice to a teen witch in a reboot of The Craft. (Due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, Spaeny did not discuss any struck work.) She’s interested in doing theater again, possibly, this time on a bigger stage. She’ll continue to challenge herself.

“I never feel like I quite get it right in terms of acting or performances, for me,” Spaeny confesses. “It’s always like a puzzle that I’m trying to solve, and I haven’t—nor do I think I ever will—feel completely satisfied.”

One thing is for sure: Once Priscilla is out in the world, audiences will see Spaeny’s spark in full force, and it’s hard to imagine that won’t lead to a blaze of success. But don’t take my word for it; hear it from the King himself: “I know they will love her,” Elordi says. “She’s the real deal.”

Source: instyle.com

October 22nd, 2023 • Veronique
S Moda

Cailee is featured on the cover of the current issue of S Moda. Click on the gallery link below to see all new photos.

Site Info
Official Cailee Spaeny Links
Current Projects
Civil War
2023Cailee as ?
Plot under wraps.
News Photos IMDb

2023Cailee as Priscilla Beaulieu Presley
Sofia Coppola's take on the relationship between Priscilla and Elvis Presley.
News Photos IMDb

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