Who is Cailee Spaeny, Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla Presley, and what does the real Priscilla have to say?



If you didn’t get enough of Elvis Presley and his story through Baz Luhrmann’s award-winning biopic starring Austin Butler – or if it didn’t meet your expectations – Sofia Coppola has her own take.

However, while Baz’ Elvis focused largely on the King of Rock himself, Sofia’s upcoming film will instead focus on Priscilla Presley.

Entitled Priscilla, the A24 film isn’t out until October, but fans got to see the very first glimpse of actress Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla (opposite Jacob Elordi as Elvis) in the first trailer released Wednesday.

WATCH: Austin Butler thanks Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley after Golden Globes win

MORE: Riley Keough and Priscilla Presley legal battle: new inheritance details unveiled from settlement agreement

Who is Cailee Spaeny?

Originally from Springfield, Missouri, born to parents Reja Spaeny and Mark Spaeny, Cailee, 24, grew up with an interest in acting, and participated in many plays through the Springfield Little Theatre group, including starring as Dorothy in their version of The Wizard of Oz.

She got her first big break in 2018 in the big budget sci-fi action film Pacific Rim Uprising alongside John Boyega and Scott Eastwood, and since then has acted alongside A-listers in prestigious projects, including The Basis of Sex with Felicity Jones, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterson, and Armie Hammer, and in Mare of Easttown with Kate Winslet.

Cailee Spaney on her growing fame…

Though it has been five years since Cailee landed her first major role, she admits she is still getting adjusted to Hollywood.

“I was 18 when I got my first role and now I would say I could have waited a Couple more years. But movies are my home and I think it’s hard for any young girl in these times with social media,” the rising star told Glass Magazine in 2021.

Cailee Spaeny at the 'On the Basis of Sex' premiere and opening ceremony during, AFI Fest, Los Angeles, USA - 08 Nov 2018© Getty
The actress at the premiere of On the Basis of Sex in 2018

Speaking with Vogue about getting her head around glitzy events and red carpet appearances, she said: “I feel like I’ve only been in this for a second! It still blows my mind that part of my job is to walk around on carpets wearing beautiful dresses,” adding: “I come from a very large family, so it was lots of hand-me-down clothes and shopping at second-hand stores and always trying to save money. So it still feels surreal to be able to pick and choose what my style is and what it means and what it says.”

MORE: Priscilla Presley makes show of support for Lisa Marie’s twin daughters amid bittersweet milestone following family legal battle

Nonetheless, she knows exactly what she wants out of her career, and also told Glass: “One of my goals is whatever I’ve done last, I want to do the exact opposite for my next role, I want to keep challenging and pushing myself,” and explained: “I actually feel a sense of relief when I play a character that’s so far from who I am because I think once it starts bleeding into Cailee, it gets a little muddy for me.”

elvis priscilla© Getty
Priscilla and Elvis married in 1967

What has Sofia Coppola said about her Priscilla biopic and Baz Luhrmann’s on Elvis?

Sofia has had nothing but praise for fellow director Baz and his movie, despite the similarities and timing, and maintained the two movies have very different focuses and approaches.

MORE: Who are Sofia Coppola’s kids? All we know following daughter’s viral helicopter TikTok

MORE: Priscilla Presley says Elvis Presley would say ‘you are me’ of Austin Butler’s portrayal of him

“I loved how Baz approached his story in a very collage-y way, but I’m glad it didn’t go into much of Priscilla’s story because now I can really dive deep,” she told Vogue.

She explained: “I think Baz is so unique and his take on that story was so creative. But Priscilla is such a minor character in that film so I never felt like I was treading on the same territory,” adding: “I think it’ll be interesting to have two completely different interpretations of the same events and time period.”

Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood, Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley, Riley Keough, and Finley Aaron Love Lockwood attend the Handprint Ceremony honoring Three Generations of Presley's at TCL Chinese Theatre on June 21, 2022 in Hollywood, California© Getty
The Presley women were part of the press roll-out for Baz’s film

Has Priscilla Presley supported Sofia Coppola’s movie about her?

Though Priscilla has yet to publicly comment on the upcoming biopic, it is based on her best-selling 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, which gave never-before-known insight into the former couple’s legendary (though controversial) 14-year romance.

Though her involvement, if any, is unclear, she reportedly received a significant payout for the rights to her book.




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