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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", "Pacific Rim Uprising", "Vice", "The Craft Legacy", "How It Ends" & "Priscilla". She has also been in TV Shows like "Devs", "Mare of Easttown" and "The First Lady". 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.

Priscilla screencaps

I made screencaps of Cailee in “Priscilla”. Click on the gallery link below to see all caps.

Posted by Veronique on Dec 27, 2023
Gallery - Priscilla - Screencaps


i-D Magazine

Cailee Spaeny is Sofia Coppola’s new muse
The actor’s strong, quiet stint in Hollywood is paying off: she’s winning awards for her role as the titular character in the director’s ‘Priscilla’.

Cailee Spaeny hasn’t seen a list of past winners of the Volpi Cup, the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious Best Actress prize that she won for her portrayal of Priscilla Presley. She laughs when I ask if she wants to know the names of the others (among them: Sophia Loren, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Emma Stone). “If you want to tell me,” she says politely, pouring me a glass of water. “I’ve heard some [of them]. I try not to look at those things… Good attention can be just as damaging as bad attention.”

It’s a perspective that’s very telling of Cailee Spaeny, the actor. She has been working for well over a decade now, with roles small and large in films such as On the Basis of Sex, Vice and Pacific Rim Uprising – films which had louder selling points (Ruth Bader Ginsberg; director Adam McKay; John Boyega) that overshadowed her integral involvement. But with her lead role in Sofia Coppola’s pristine and lovelorn Priscilla, the 25-year-old Missouri native is navigating an entirely new level of stardom and an industry that is raring to take and take from stars like her – the Faustian pact of it all. But she is determined, with a fierceness that belies her gentle demeanour, to keep her feet planted firmly on the ground.

That isn’t to say that Cailee isn’t delighted by her whirlwind adventure as the queen of rock ‘n’ roll – she is, she tells me, “so lucky” to have experienced the film’s reception both at Venice and elsewhere. (After we speak, she’ll earn a Best Actress – Drama nomination at the Golden Globes.) But for Cailee, Priscilla holds an unshakeable place in her heart not for what it has become, but for what it always was: an opportunity to pour herself into a character, to excavate the untold side of a young girl’s story, to work with one of her most admired directors. “It’s literally everything I could have ever wanted wrapped up in one, with a beautiful bow on top,” she says, breaking momentarily into a breathless gush. “Sofia is my dream director. Her films changed me when I was 14 years old.”

As a director, Sofia – who speaks so universally to women’s most intimate worlds – makes this mark on so many people. “She gave permission for me and for young women to be complex; to have a dark side and needs and yearnings,” Cailee says. “To be sexual or angry…she just sees them how they are. Especially growing up in the Bible Belt of America, there’s definitely a certain way you feel you need to be.” The first of Sofia’s films that entered her world was The Virgin Suicides, a film that grapples with the impossibility of burgeoning sexuality amidst suffocating religious strictures. “When I watched her films, even though it stayed internal and private, I felt that side of myself could be explored,” Cailee says. “I didn’t have to be afraid of [it] anymore.”

Priscilla is, in this regard, an archetypal Sofia Coppola endeavour, ripe with the impossible contradictions of girlhood: the simultaneous accretion and deprivation of agency, the consuming drive and vulnerability of first desire, the elision between one’s private world and the public sphere. It is also the first cinematic portrayal of Elvis Presley (played in the film by Jacob Elordi) and Priscilla’s relationship to pay wary, steady attention to the troubling age gap between the two – they began courting when Priscilla was 14 and Elvis was 27 – laying bare not only its embedded violence, but the complex language of sexual awakening that articulated it. “It is such a grey area,” Cailee says. “It’s shocking and uncomfortable, but at the same time, [Priscilla] is initiating a lot of the sexual moments.” She met the real Priscilla before filming. “The thing [she] said to me is that there was real love there. She would still consider him to be the love of her life. And that’s complicated, but very human. I just wanted to take her truth and put it on screen, and let people decide how they felt after.”

Navigating the complication of the age gap was just one of many conversations that the real-life Priscilla and Cailee had in the months the latter spent researching the role, and Priscilla’s thoughts on the film remain one of the few external markers of success to which Cailee pays attention. Yet there was a tension, Cailee explains, that she felt within her own acting process; in wanting to both remain true to Priscilla’s story while retaining the creative autonomy that comes with creating a role. “I really struggled with it,” she says. “I spent a lot of time talking to her but when I started filming, I stopped having contact. We only had 30 days to shoot, and I think if I was going into each scene thinking, ‘Oh, she was having this thought’, it would have [become] too controlled. Sometimes Jacob and I would feel lost, and we’d have to remind ourselves that we’re doing a marriage story in a Sofia Coppola film, just to come back to the actual core of the scene.”
30 days is, in the grand scheme of things, a short shoot, but it is a long time to inhabit another person’s quiet longings and heart-dropping fears; their entire, tangled coming of age. Over 30 days, and over the 110 minutes of the film, Cailee blooms into and out of Priscilla – the eyeliner-slicked, backcombed, frail slip of a girl who comes to learn the heavy price of fame and glamour, the shadowed underworld of everything that had once drawn her in. Inhabiting her so entirely might have taught Cailee much the same thing, if she didn’t already feel it immutably: she has, she tells me, always been wary of the insatiable, vampiric nature of fame, something that no amount of lead roles or prizes can shake.

“I’m pretty cynical about this industry, and I feel very protective of actors and their lives,” she says, guarded and firm. “I don’t think they get treated fairly – this industry can be completely exploitative. [Playing Priscilla] just amplified it, the more I looked at their lives and things that affected them. A lot of the pain came from his fame – he didn’t know how to wrap his head around [it].”
I tell her how surprised I was by the cult of personality that still surrounds Elvis and she agrees (although, as a Southerner who visited Graceland multiple times as a child, it perhaps came as less of a shock). “It is bananas!” she says, echoing my words back to me. “There’s a real sort of subculture. I find it all very odd when people are that fascinated by people’s lives that they don’t know. Which is also why this story needs to be told, I think. Because in all the countless versions of his story that we’ve received, we’ve [never] really been in this interior world with her.”

It’s a difficult line to tread for any young actress – navigating the fine line between the demands of fame as a monster and the possibilities of fame as opportunity. Yet Cailee is confident – and determined – to get it right. “I don’t feel like my personal life is getting mixed in,” she says of her skyrocketing success as Priscilla. “I feel I’m keeping that separate – the attention feels like it’s coming from my work. It’s coming from this movie and my performance and whether people like it or not, from the research I do and the acting that I put on screen, and that’s completely fine.” She shrugs, and smiles. “I’m an artist and I put my art out and I have people judge it.” If Priscilla’s own story was once seen as a fairy tale, Cailee’s is the subversive retelling: the star of the year’s gauziest and gaudiest film, working in the world’s gauziest and gaudiest industry, refusing its gilded cage.

Source: i-d.vice.com

Posted by Veronique on Dec 26, 2023
Articles & Interviews - Gallery - Photoshoots - Priscilla


The Wrap

‘Priscilla’ Star Cailee Spaeny Ignored Other Film Versions of the Presleys, Including Her Best Friend Olivia DeJonge’s

TheWrap magazine: “I just wanted it to come from my time with Priscilla herself,” the actress says
Cailee Spaeny

Cailee Spaeny has played all manner of characters, from a murderous cult member in “Bad Times at the El Royale” to the daughter of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “On the Basis of Sex.” But playing Priscilla Presley, wife of the most famous rock ’n’ roller in the world, in Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” was a chance for Spaeny to “demystify” a woman whose story many people weren’t aware of.

But Spaeny stayed away from other interpretations of Priscilla Presley, from Susan Walters’ in the 1988 TV movie adaptation of Presley’s 1985 autobiography “Elvis and Me” to her friend Olivia DeJonge’s recent turn in Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” because Spaeny feared it would affect her performance. “I just wanted it to come from my time with Priscilla herself, and the book and my own view on it and my opinion on [who] I thought she would be,” she said.

Spaeny, who was born in Tennessee and grew up in Missouri, said her family were huge Elvis fans. But it wasn’t enough just to be a fan; Spaeny was determined to find the humanity behind a woman so often relegated to the shadow of her legendary husband. The real Priscilla Presley offered herself up as a resource for Spaeny—and after a rocky start, the two engaged in several phone calls and one-
on-one interviews. “I had a whole list of questions written out and prepared, over-prepared, for sitting down with her,” Spaeny said. “And the second that she sat down they all went out of my head. There was an awkward silence until she had to then remind me that I’m here asking her questions. Then I was like, ‘Oh, yes, of course. Let’s get into it.’”

What did you ask Priscilla in order to figure out how to play her?

Cailee Spaeny: It was just like, “Take me back to the night that you first met him.” And then letting these questions flow naturally. Asking her, “So you didn’t tell anyone that you went to school with about your time with him?” And her saying, “No,” and me saying, “Well, that must have been a really lonely experience. How did you balance going to high school and also then staying up all night with Elvis and his boys?”

She would tell little details. For example, the first night they met she said she was starving before she went there. She got to the party in Germany, and he made her a sandwich. She said she wanted to eat so badly, but couldn’t imagine eating a sandwich in front of Elvis Presley. And she would laugh like she was right there, back in that moment. So it was those details that were really so essential in putting this puzzle together.

Sofia tells it like you’re entering a memory. It’s very impressionistic. We never stay on a beat too long. It’s an Alice in Wonderland- type dreamland where she’s trying to find her way and then comes out on the other side seeing things more clearly. So it was very important to talk about emotions rather than about events. One of the things she told me is, “Make sure that the love is there.” And I think that me and Jacob [Elordi] held on to that. [We] show the lows but also make sure we show the highs in their relationship because when she talks about these times, she looks back at these memories fondly.

There are so many moments where we see Priscilla surrounded by men, dwarfed by all the activity going on. How did you find a way to stand out in those scenes where Priscilla is made to feel so small?

Jacob and the other actors who are playing the Memphis Mafia were incredibly helpful to me feeling lost in this whirlwind. Those actors are from Toronto and they’re comedians, so they’re improvising the whole time. It always felt like a boy’s world on set and they leaned into that in between takes as well. So I always felt like I was trying to figure out where I fit into this world. Along the way I thought about [how] she was always sort of in character, which she felt like she needed to be in front of him. Trying to fit into this world and never quite clicking in, that’s the way I saw it.

You and Jacob play off each other so well. Did you two spend a lot of time talking out scenes?

There were scenes I’m sure we talked about beforehand, or ones that we found trickier than others. Overall, we wanted to make sure we were comfortable around each other before we went into filming this because we only had 30 days to shoot this movie, and we shot it wildly out of order. I knew I had to feel like I could trust the person [who] was going to be playing Elvis, so the second I found out he got the role I was really excited because I was a fan of his work. I messaged him right away and I wanted us to make sure that we spent time with each other.

What was the challenge for you filming a movie in 30 days?

It was shooting everything out of order and playing an age range from 14 to late 20s, making sure those ages felt genuine and distinct from each other, and that that emotional arc was clear. [That] was always my biggest fear, filming in the way that we did. I always had complete faith in Sofia, but I never wanted to let her down and give her a one-note performance.

There is a very intense sequence between you and Elvis where he throws a chair at your head. What was that day like on set?

That was a funny day because I specifically remember there was a whole thing with the chair. We only had two breakaway chairs. It was tied to a string, which was a safety precaution so it was never going to hit me. They also wanted to have a stunt person throw the chair, but Jacob felt strongly about him being the one to actually throw the chair because it would have hurt the momentum of the scene to stop, yell “cut!” and have someone come in and throw the chair at me. That switch that Jacob did so beautifully was really important. I’m so glad that he fought for making that choice because it really helped my reaction. I was genuinely scared.

The final scene between Priscilla and Elvis is not the final scene of the movie, which ends with Priscilla leaving Graceland. Considering the out-of-order nature of filming, how did you navigate filming that sequence and the finale?

The shot of me driving away from Graceland was shot on day two, I believe. That was really stressful because we only had two takes to shoot that because we were losing light. That scene was tricky to know what I wanted to be doing or saying in that moment because it’s a silent moment. It’s no dialogue but obviously that song [Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”] was so important.

Sofia was so relieved when she got to use that; she had written it into the script. She also had it playing in the backseat of the car when I was filming that scene, which did so much. It was such a personal song between Elvis and Priscilla. Priscilla says that Elvis was singing it to her when they left the courtroom when they were getting their divorce. Elvis always wanted to record that song, it had so many layers. Also, Sofia found it really important to have a female voice at the end of the movie.

That was a crazy day to shoot. I don’t really know how to drive a car, and on the second day of filming I was trying to impress everyone and I was like, “The car is broken.” I just didn’t have it in drive, which was very embarrassing and also really disrupted the mood, but we got there.

Then the other scene [between Elvis and Priscilla], which was the actual last day of filming, was a relief to film. It was so heavy and emotional on the actual last day because my head was swimming through all different sorts of thoughts. To come from southern Missouri, being the small-town girl growing up on Sofia Coppola movies, being such a fan of her work, and then flashing forward to me being 24 on her set and it coming to an end, lent itself to the scene. I know Jacob was feeling the same way. Everyone was emotional to be wrapping the film, and thinking about what the characters were going through at that time wrapped it all together.

Source: thewrap.com

Posted by Veronique on Dec 12, 2023
Articles & Interviews - Gallery - Photoshoots - Priscilla


LA Times

How ‘Priscilla’ uncovers the vulnerable woman beneath the hairspray

“She was very kind but hesitant,” Oscar-winning writer-director-producer Sofia Coppola says of Priscilla Presley, recalling the first time the two discussed Coppola turning Presley’s 1985 bestselling biography, “Elvis and Me,” into the film “Priscilla.” “She’s very private and wasn’t looking to put this out right now. But she said she would think about it…. It’s such a personal story. She’s definitely protective of it.”

Thanks to the admiration Presley has for Coppola’s oeuvre, she ultimately agreed, serving as executive producer on the film, which won lead actress for Cailee Spaeny at this year’s Venice International Film Festival. Presley, though, made no demands for casting input and stayed away from the set during filming. Such was the trust she had in the project and its key players.

“She didn’t have any big notes or specific beats she wanted me to get right,” adds Spaeny. “She just said, ‘Make sure that the love is there between us.’ Because it was, and she looks back on those memories fondly.”

Over a joint Zoom session, The Envelope spoke to Coppola and Spaeny about doing right by Presley with “Priscilla.”

Sofia, why were you drawn to this story?

Coppola: When I read Priscilla’s book, I was surprised with how moving it was. It was so unique. I was surprised by how relatable it was [despite] such an unusual setting. I realized how little I knew about her. She’s such a famous figure in our American pop history and culture. I had no idea she was going to high school while she was living at Graceland. I was really struck with how much she opens up in the book about what her experience was like. She goes through all these experiences most girls go through growing up, but in such an unusual way…. And I thought it spoke a lot about the roles of women of that generation, which is my mother’s generation, so I thought it was interesting.

What about you, Cailee?

Spaeny: If I’m being completely honest, it was the fact that it was Sofia. The story was so daunting, and to play this character was really terrifying. With anyone else, I would’ve said no.

How did each of you collaborate with Priscilla Presley?

Coppola: I worked with her while I was working on the script. She was very open to answering questions and talking with me, so I spent a lot of time asking her about different parts of her story. And then she didn’t want to come to set because she didn’t want to make Cailee nervous. She just had a lot of respect about wanting me to do it my way but also to give input and be helpful where she could.

Spaeny: I think if she would’ve been on set, I would’ve probably rolled up into a ball. [Laughs] But she was always like, “Whenever you need to call me before a scene, you can.” We met twice in person and had numerous phone calls before filming.

Had you seen Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” and how does your film position itself against it?

Coppola: I saw it [in the summer of 2022], but it was after I’d written my script, so it wasn’t at all a reaction to that. I feel like [“Elvis”] is so different in tone and that that’s really his public life, and [“Priscilla”] is really his private life, and Priscilla’s story…. I just thought it’s even more interesting to have a film about Elvis and then a year later to have Priscilla’s story. They’re great companion pieces. I feel like I learned a lot about Elvis as an artist through her perspective of his struggles and him as a person. Priscilla’s such a small character in the “Elvis” movie that I think it’s really interesting to see another side of the story. Her side.

Spaeny: I still haven’t seen [“Elvis”] yet, so I feel like I can’t really speak on that. But it sounds like it’d be a fun double feature!

What was the project’s biggest challenge and biggest reward?

Coppola: The biggest challenge was having such a big, epic life and love story, condensing that into 90 minutes, shooting it in 30 days, covering so much time, and having [Cailee as Priscilla] go from 14 to 29 or whatever.

Spaeny: I agree with that. I feel like the greatest challenge and the greatest reward were sort of the same thing. Making this film for Priscilla. Her feeling safe with the story that we told. And getting that right for her. Because I feel she deserves that.

Coppola: She told me, “That was my life” when she saw it, and that was the most rewarding thing. To hear that from her.

Spaeny: The weight off of our shoulders was massive at that point.

What do you hope Elvis would have thought of your film?

Coppola: Oh, I never thought of that. I was so focused on what Priscilla would think about her story. I don’t know. I feel like that’s really between them. It’s her portrayal of their relationship. So, I don’t want to get in the middle of that. [Laughs]

What’s the one thing you discovered about Priscilla that you didn’t know before you made this movie?

Spaeny: Oh, well, almost everything. [Laughs] Gosh — that she put on false eyelashes before she went into labor. There were so many things I didn’t know — like her being really hungry when she first went to meet Elvis on the first night at that party in Germany. And then he offered her a sandwich — and she really wanted it — but she said no because she couldn’t imagine eating a sandwich in front of Elvis Presley!

Coppola: You just see these pictures of her looking like the perfection of a ’60s glamorous woman. [But] of course, she has this human side. I was struck with how vulnerable she was. She’s very sweet and delicate and very sensitive. I was just surprised by her sensitivity in all these situations, which makes sense when you see her real story — behind the hairspray.

Source: latimes.com

Posted by Veronique on Dec 3, 2023
Articles & Interviews - Gallery - Photoshoots - Priscilla


The Kelly Clarkson Show

Posted by Veronique on Nov 16, 2023
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TODAY show

Posted by Veronique on Nov 4, 2023
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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

Posted by Veronique on Nov 3, 2023
Articles & Interviews - Gallery - Photoshoots - Priscilla


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