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Hollywood director hopes Vietnamese audience will like Elvis movie

Hollywood director Baz Luhrmann chats with VnExpress on the occasion of the premiere of his Elvis Presley musical film at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

Elvis, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 25, is one of the most awaited musical films this year. The work follows the life and career of the legendary Elvis Presley, through the lens of the complicated relationship between him and the mysterious manager Colonel Tom Parker, amidst the troubled context of American society. 1960s.

Baz Luhrmann, the cult director of the musical genre. He was nominated for an Oscar in 2002 for the movie Moulin Rouge! and is also loved by many viewers through the movie The Great Gatsby.

– How do you feel when you return to Cannes Film Festival after nine years, since “The Great Gatsby” opened this festival in 2013?

Nine years is a really long time. I love Cannes Film Festival so much and I’m waiting for the audience’s reaction here Elvis premiered. Young actors participating in the film such as Austin Butler or Olivia DeJonge are also very excited for the first screening of the film. Elvis on the big screen. The new film will be released to the global audience in a month.

'Great Gatsby' director: 'I love spring rolls and rode a motorbike in Vietnam'

Director Baz Luhrmann (left) has a close relationship with actor Leonardo DiCaprio after collaborating on two films “Romeo + Juliet” and “The Great Gatsby”. Image: Cannes

– How did the idea to make a biopic about Elvis Presley come to you?

– I like the idea that we can understand an era by exploring someone’s life. If you want to know how popular culture in America developed during this period 1950-1960s, look at Elvis Presley – the idol of the youth. The crowd at the time was crazy about Elvis. At the same time, the film also offers a fashion perspective, typically the signature jumpsuit, and music.

– A generation of audiences in Vietnam during the 1960s or 1970s were familiar with Elvis Presley’s music. In your opinion, what can they expect from this movie?

– I really hope that the Vietnamese audience will accept this film. I’m sure that those who know and love Elvis, when watching this movie, will feel about the people, about the atmosphere of the concerts in the same way that I or anyone who has been through the cultural period. American masses in the 1960s – 1970s still remember. Young people today will also see how powerful a musical idol from the past can be.

I know that K-Pop is very popular in Vietnam today and many young people are “crazy” with Korean idols. That reminds me of the music idol atmosphere of the Elvis Presley era.

– What do you think about the idea of ​​making a movie about Vietnamese music or a musical film shot in Vietnam?

– Oh, if so, that would be great. I don’t know much about Vietnamese music but I have a Vietnamese friend who is a flute player. Occasionally, I also have the opportunity to see her perform and find your music very beautiful, very deep in soul. Just being inspired by a good story, I’m ready to make a movie.

Six years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Vietnam. I love Vietnamese food, especially something like fried spring rolls but inside there are a lot of fresh vegetables and vermicelli. I think they call it “salad roll”. I was also able to ride a Vespa motorbike on the streets of Saigon, a very interesting experience. I think Hanoi and Saigon are both beautiful cities with lots of delicious food. Next time, after finishing the promotional tour for Elvis in Japan, I hope to have time to visit Vietnam again.

'Great Gatsby' director: 'I love spring rolls and rode a motorbike in Vietnam' - 1

Shaping the legendary Elvis Presley in the upcoming film of the same name, directed by actor Austin Butler. Image: Warner Bros.

– The role of Elvis initially had many bright candidates such as Miles Teller, Aaron Taylor-Johnson or singer Harry Styles. Why did you decide to choose Austin Butler, a name still very new to cinema?

– I was impressed with Austin Butler when I watched the video of him casting for the role of Elvis. Austin cried while singing the song Unchained Melody. The film focuses on the musical legend’s youth stage and Austin’s looks have a certain fit. Moreover, he is also very talented. During the casting process, I watched Austin Butler perform in bars and was really impressed. I think even as a new face to cinema, Austin is capable of embodying the image of one of the greatest musical monuments in the history of American popular culture.

– According to Billboard, Priscilla Presley – Elvis’s wife – once expressed her desire for female singer Lana Del Rey to play her role. The “Born to Die” vocalist himself once said he would love to play Priscilla on the big screen. Why did you choose a new face, Olivia DeJonge for the role of Priscilla?

– I remember Priscilla once said that he liked Lana but didn’t clearly mention that he wanted her to play his role. Lana and I are very close friends. We also collaborated in many music products. I know a lot of Lana Del Rey fans are looking forward to her playing Priscilla on the big screen because her style and looks are similar to Elvis’ wife. However, you know, the movie focuses on Elvis Presley’s teenage years. Thus, in terms of age, Olivia DeJonge will be more suitable and this young actress has also gone through many casting rounds to be given the role of Priscilla.

Trailer Elvis

– First time collaborating with actor Tom Hanks, how do you feel?

– Tom Hanks is not only a good actor but also a really great star. He had a great incarnation as manager Tom Parker. The movie trailer as you can see it opens with Parker’s introduction: “Someone will say I’m the villain in this story”.

Tom Hanks is familiar to the audience in many forms of leading roles. I think fans will be extremely surprised by his talent show in Elvis. In real life, Tom is very funny and laughs constantly with everyone on set.

'Great Gatsby' director: 'I like spring rolls and rode a motorbike in Vietnam' - 2

Director Baz Luhrmann works in many fields, from film and television to stage and opera. Image: Warner Bros

Baz Luhrmann was born in 1962, an Australian. In the film industry, he has been making films since 1992 but so far has only made six films. His first work was Strictly Ballroom. In 2002, Baz was nominated for an Oscar for the musical Moulin Rouge! (Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor star). He collaborated with actor Leonardo DiCaprio in two films Romeo + Juliet (1996) and The Great Gatsby (two thousand and thirteen). Elvis is his sixth film and premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Nguyen Minh perform

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