Kelvin Harrison Jr. on BB King and Austin Butler’s performance
He also talks about the friendship between Elvis and BB King and does jam sessions with Butler as Elvis.
With writer-director Baz Luhrmannit is Elvis opening in theaters this weekend around the world, I recently got to speak with Kelvin Harrison Jr.. about playing BB King in the biopic. During the interview, Butler spoke about what he was surprised to learn about BB King and Elvis as he prepared for the role, his reaction seeing Austin Butler like Elvis on set for the first time, why he was blown away by his performance, his reaction to seeing the finished film for the first time, and how Luhrmann edited the film, and more.
As you can see in the trailers, Elvis talks about the complicated relationship between Colonel Tom Parker (tom hank) and Elvis Presley. The film tells the story of Elvis from Parker’s perspective, and it spans two decades and includes Presley’s rise to prominence within the context of the changing cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America.
Butler is superb in the role and actually sings Presley’s early songs in the film. Her performance alone is a reason to see the film. Elvis also stars Helene Thomson like Elvis’ mother, Gladys, Richard Roxburgh like Elvis’ father, Vernon, Olivia De Jonge like Priscilla Presley, Luc Bracey like Jerry Schilling, Natasha Bassette like Dixie Locke, David Wenham like Hank Snow, xavier samuel like Scotty Moore, and Kodi Smit McPhee as Jimmie Rodgers Snow. To play other iconic musical artists in the film, Luhrmann cast the singer/songwriter yola as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, model Alton Mason like Little Richard, Gary Clark Jr. as Arthur Crudup, and artist Shonka Dukureh as Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton.
Watch what Kelvin Harrison Jr. had to say in the player above and below, that’s exactly what we talked about.
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
- Which of his friends and family was the most excited he was cast in Elvis?
- What was he surprised to learn about BB King and Elvis while preparing for the role?
- What was his reaction to seeing Butler as Elvis on set for the first time?
- How they did jam sessions with Butler as Elvis.
- What was it like watching the film for the first time and seeing how Luhrmann edited the film?