Sofia Coppola was “stunned” to receive an angry email from Lisa Marie Presley just weeks before she started shooting ‘Priscilla’.
The director’s new film is based on Priscilla Presley’s 1985 book ‘Elvis and Me’ which details her marriage to music legend Elvis Presley and the couple’s daughter Lisa Marie got in touch with Sofia to express her distaste over the portrayal of her famous father which she called “shockingly vengeful”.
Sofia has now admitted she was blindsided by how upset Lisa Marie was because she was trying to be “sensitive”, telling Deadline.com: “I was really stunned to hear that, a couple of weeks before shooting. I felt like it was something between the family that I had no idea about. I felt like it was between them [Lisa Marie and her mother Priscilla] . And of course, I didn’t want to do anything that was going to make anyone uncomfortable. The book had been out for decades by then.
“I was really surprised, and I wish she had a chance to see it because I don’t think Elvis comes off badly. I admire him, and I wanted to show the private side, but it is Priscilla’s story. I definitely was always meaning to be sensitive, and I wasn’t trying to take him down in a way that she would be worried about.”
When asked if Lisa Marie’s words had prompted her to make changes to the film, Sofia replied: “No, because I had always wanted to be sensitive and really show how I interpreted Priscilla talking about him, which was not damning at all. I felt like I was really focused on bringing her story to light.
“I can understand that there’s a business there, and a brand, but I just didn’t expect to find myself … I would never want to intrude on a family. I was always planning to approach it with sensitivity, because that’s just the way I do things.”
Lisa Marie is believed to have slammed the project in two emails sent in September 2022 just four months before her death.
In the emails, obtained by Variety, she wrote: “My father only comes across as a predator and manipulative. As his daughter, I don’t read this and see any of my father in this character.
“I don’t read this and see my mother’s perspective of my father. I read this and see your shockingly vengeful and contemptuous perspective and I don’t understand why?”
Lisa Marie – who died in January 2023 aged 54 – went on to vow she would speak out publicly against the film even though it was endorsed by her mother, who is credited as an executive producer.
She added: “I will be forced to be in a position where I will have to openly say how I feel about the film and go against you, my mother and this film publicly.”
According to the outlet the director replied by writing: “I hope that when you see the final film you will feel differently, and understand I’m taking great care in honouring your mother, while also presenting your father with sensitivity and complexity.”
Post source: Female First