Elvis Presley was quite the movie and television buff, but he never watched his own work.
Over the span of his career, he starred in 31 full-length films along with two documentaries about his music career. So it came as quite a shock to learn that The King didn’t watch his own work.
According to Danny Smith, who was the son of Elvis Presley’s cousin Billy, he didn’t want to see himself on the big screen. In various videos on his Memphis Mafia Kid YouTube Channel, Smith spoke about the time he spent with Presley at Graceland as a teenager.
“I’ll put it this way from what I understand from Mom and Daddy, he didn’t,” he revealed. “I mean I’m not saying that he hadn’t at one time or another, but he just didn’t do it.”
Since he was often around him and his gang of friends and musicians, he can say with confidence that he never witnessed any of his films.
“And as far as being at Graceland and being around as a child and teenager, I’ve never seen any of Elvis’ movies or concerts or anything on the TVs or anything out there,” he confirmed.
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Meanwhile, the father of Elvis Presley confirmed that his son did not watch his rom-com musicals. In 1977, less than a year after Presley’s death, Vernon wrote about it in Good Housekeeping, according to Express.
“Elvis hardly ever watched the movies he made because he didn’t like most of them,” Vernon shared. “He’d been given $1 million a picture, plus 50 percent of the net, so he’d been well paid for his work.”
Vernon claimed that the “Jailhouse Rock” singer never had creative control or script approval. He didn’t even have control over what songs he would perform in each movie.
“A couple of years ago, he’d been asked to do A Star Is Born with Barbra Streisand. But he didn’t do it – I don’t know why,” Vernon noted. In reality, Elvis Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker was behind the snub. He was asking for too many things. This was at a point in Presley’s career when he hadn’t appeared in any recent movies. Presley hoped that it could become his break back into the industry. At the end of the day, it wasn’t meant to be, and Kris Kristofferson ended up getting the part.
“Recently, Elvis had thought about getting into production so that he could star in a picture he’d really like,” Vernon continued writing in the Good Housekeeping piece. “He’d gone so far as to start work on a script. Elvis learned not to pay much attention to criticism or to the lies which were circulated about him.”