The “Elvis” team was on hand in Cannes for a little more conversation about Baz Luhrmann’s musical drama — but how Tom Hanks landed on his mysterious European-American accent as Colonel Tom Parker in the movie will remain a mystery for now.
The Oscar-winning actor received the first question from journalists at the Thursday press conference, and was asked how he prepared for his role as Parker and, in particular, the accent he used in the film.
Hanks skirted any discussion of his accent work, and instead spoke at length about researching Parker, who “wasn’t a delightful guy.”
“Was he a cheap crook that played fast and loose? Yeah,” said Hanks, “he was a bit of that. He was a man who brought joy to everything he did — along with a bit of larceny.
“I’m not interested in playing a bad guy just for the sake of, ‘Before I kill you Mr. Bond would you like a tour of my installation?’” said Hanks to laughs from the assembled media. “That’s okay. What Baz tantalized me with right off the bat was, here’s a guy who saw the opportunity to manifest a once-in-a-lifetime talent into a cultural force. He knew that about Elvis when he saw the effect he had on an audience.”
Hanks added: “The amount of ways that Parker cheated people out of nickels and dimes is extraordinary…I think no one knew the Colonel’s background. There are some extraordinary, tabloidy stories about why and how he left Holland.”
“Elvis” marks Luhrmann’s first feature directorial effort since 2013’s “The Great Gatsby,” which also world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Butler stars in the title role opposite Hanks as Elvis’ infamous manager.
While critics have praised Butler’s tour de force performance, Hanks’ extremely thick and at times indecipherable accent for Parker, who was from the Netherlands, has been singled out as one of the movie’s weaker turns, and some have called Hanks’ prosthetic nose and padding to resemble the heavy-set Parker distracting.
“Elvis” is one of the biggest titles to screen at Cannes, with a star-studded carpet that included Sharon Stone, Shakira, Kylie Minogue, Diplo, Jeremy O. Harris and Italian rock band Måneskin.
Warner Bros. is opening “Elvis” in U.S. theaters on June 24. The film joined “Top Gun: Maverick” as the two Hollywood tentpoles to world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.
In Variety’s largely favorable review of the movie, critic Owen Gleiberman said “Luhrmann has made a woefully imperfect but at times arresting drama that builds to something moving and true.”
More to come.
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