“Priscilla” star Cailee Spaeny scrambled to portray Priscilla Presley at multiple ages within a day.

By: Izumi Hasegawa   November 27, 2023

25 year old actress Cailee Spaeny exhibited incredible range playing Priscilla Presley from 14 to 28 years old. Because she didn’t have the luxury of filming chronologically, there were periods where she had to depict Priscilla at different stages of life in a single day. Cailee discussed how she worked through challenges, meeting Priscilla, and her experiences working with Jacob Elordi, who played Elvis Presley.

Photo by Philippe Le Sourd / A24

Q: What kind of prep did you do for the role where did you start with the prep what helped you like really like nail so to speak and how the hair and makeup also helped your performance?

Yeah so the first step was reading the book and reading the script along with the book and really you know diving into that and writing out the biggest questions that I had and then taking that time to meet with Priscilla herself and trying to go through that chapter of her life and you know I always wanted her to feel comfortable I never wanted to feel like I was you know interviewing her I wanted it to come up naturally, but she would go into these sort of specific memories that she had with him and it was really special you know the detail that she would talk about but also just taking in the presence of this woman who’s lived this life and it was like her eyes would sparkle again talking about certain moments she had or she’d laugh at like an inside joke that they had that it was these sort of nuggets of gold that helped me put this massive puzzle together especially in the way that Sophia tells it in this sort of impressionistic and memory type way that she said before it was really those sort of flashes and the nuance that I really wanted to try to absorb when I was around her and she’s such a fascinating woman and she’s very graceful in the way that she holds herself very soft spoken but also has this fierceness about her and she’s very protective.

Photo by Sabrina Lantos / A24

Q: You shot 30 days. That must have been like exhilarating to like move at that kind of pace and, not dragging it out like it would be like a big budget kind of thing. You had to play someone from 14 to 28. Most movies are shot out of order. How was it like for you to like one day it’s for 14 the next day, it’s for still at 25?

It wouldn’t even be next day, it’s like the next hour. Yeah, I think in those moments, you really just have to lean on the creatives around you and I did everything I could to map it out and then like I said, the hair, make-up and costumes were really essential for me and informed how I would play each age but it was tricky. All we could do is to do our best, you know, we were always fighting the clock or fighting the light.


Photo by Sabrina Lantos / A24


Q: Jacob (Jacob Elordi, played Elvis) is magnificent in this film. Such a completely different take of Elvis. This is such a fundamentally different portrayal. Hats off to Jacob for achieving that. What was your first meeting with him like?

Yeah, I was a fan of his work. And so I was interested what he was going to bring to the table. I messaged him right away when I found out he had the role and we met a couple of times I just, I wanted to sort of get a sense of who he was and I wanted us to feel comfortable around each other because I knew once we started filming we were, we was going to be, you know, crazy to shoot this and 30 day so I wanted to make sure that we felt comfortable around each other and he had my back throughout the whole process and he did so much research and he’s so naturally charismatic and wears his heart on his sleeves so it was so nice for those parts of him to come through and you know, he was just always an actor that I felt like I could trust every day going into a scene I knew he was going to have an idea to bring to the table or know how to flip something on its head and he and a lot of this movie I’m reacting off of him. So, it was so central that I felt like I could trust him. And he is such a giving actor. And yeah, I just thought really lucky and it was such a joy to watch what he did every day.

Priscilla is now playing in theaters.

Edited by Tiffany Le / Hollywood News Wire Inc.