The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

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Jackson DeGrood is a senior at OHS. DeGrood loves playing Fortnite. In his freetime he plays Fortnite with senior Jayden Omangi. DeGrood’s favorite thing to do is catch a victory royale with fellas....

Lauren Kubicek is a junior at Owatonna High School. This is her first year on the Magnet staff. She is involved in many activites at the school inluding the Owatonna Dance Team, DECA, BBBS and Student...

Owen Smith is a senior at OHS this year, this is his first year in Magnet. He joined Magnet because he wants to be a voice for the student body of OHS and enjoys writing about sports. Smith is involved...

Elvis or Elvis (or possibly Elvis)?

Canva+poster+displaying+a+1950s+era+performer+singing+into+a+microphone.
Luca Gfrerer
Canva poster displaying a 1950s era performer singing into a microphone.

In recent years, many biographical movies depicting the lives of past and present musical artists have been produced. Some have been about Freddie Mercury and the band “Queen”, Elton John, David Bowie, “Motley Crüe” and many more Hollywood stars. Since the summer of 2022, two films about the life of American singer and actor Elvis Presley and his wife Priscilla Presley have been released. The first film, “Elvis”, starred Austin Butler, while the more recent film, “Priscilla”, starred Jacob Elordi as Elvis. Both actors brought immense success to the movies. However, the two actors sparked the question of who truly portrayed the star in the most accurate and honorable way?

The American singer, songwriter, and actor, Elvis Presley is known worldwide for songs like “Jailhouse Rock”, “Suspicious Minds” and “Hound Dog” among many others. He was also recognized for his  dance moves and unique speaking voice as well as his outstanding singing voice. To learn each and every detail and method of Presley’s complex life seems near impossible, yet somehow, both Butler and Elordi managed to do just that. 

The movie “Elvis” was released on June 24, 2022, and immediately became a box office hit. Not only was the cinematography outstanding, but Austin Butler dedicated countless hours preparing himself to become Presley and ensuring the film would not flop. Paraphrased from the article Austin Butler Opens Up About ‘Elvis’: ‘It Really Felt as Though My Life Was on the Line, Butler began his preparation a full year before filming even began. He hired a movement coach, a dialect coach, an acting coach and a singing coach. When the pandemic hit, Butler only saw it as more time to spend working on this role. The New York Times article, Elvis’ Review: Shocking the King Back to Life, gave an honest and detailed review of Butler’s portrayal of American legend. The article paraphrases that Butler not only captured the performance aspects but also Presley’s vulnerability and dedication to his work. 

OHS junior Sarah Kess said, ”I think Austin Butler did an incredible job playing Elvis. I could tell he spent a long time really becoming the King of Rock and Roll.”

On Oct. 27, 2023, the film “Priscilla” was brought to theaters starring Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla Presley and Jacob Elordi as Elvis Presley. This movie takes on an alternate perspective of Presley’s life and instead focuses on his wife Priscilla. Elordi also took a different route when preparing for his role. While Butler focused on the mannerisms of the star, Elordi honed in on Presley’s physique. The Teen Vogue article, Jacob Elordi Says He Ate a Pound of Bacon Every Day to Prepare to Play Elvis Presley, paraphrases that Elordi ate a pound of bacon a day and often recreated Presley’s infamous peanut butter and banana sandwich. To quote a review from The Guardian, Priscilla review – Sofia Coppola’s stylish, sensitive portrait of life with Elvis, “Elordi taps into an intriguing, quixotic cruelty beneath the glittering charisma; his Elvis is a darker, more dangerously complicated creature than Austin Butler’s sunnier version in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis.”

OHS sophomore Lauren Packard preferred Elordi’s portrayal of Elvis in “Priscilla”.  She said, “I really enjoyed the movie and I thought he portrayed Elvis’ voice and personality really well. It almost felt like I was watching the real Elvis.”

“Priscilla” was not as publicized as “Elvis” and earned a lower rating on IMDb than “Elvis” did: 6.7/10 compared to 7.3/10. However, Metacritic gave “Priscilla” an average score of 79% while “Elvis” only received a 64%. The article, Jacob Elordi vs. Austin Butler: Battle of the Elvises, specifically compares Elordi and Butler’s depictions of Elvis Presley. To paraphrase, fans believe Butler’s Elvis was better solely based on looks and costume while Elordi’s Elvis is better due to the way he accurately mimics the star’s unique voice. This might seem ironic considering that Butler prepared for the role by learning Presley’s mannerisms and Elordi prepared by focusing on his looks. 

Both of these actors put ample time and effort into their preparation to become the Hollywood legend Elvis Presley in each film. The matter of who played the role better is merely an opinion that differs from person to person. Both Butler and Elordi found equally important factors of Presley’s life to focus their work on, and the real recognition should focus solely on the dedication each actor had to bring honor to the star’s life story.

 

About the Contributor
Luca Gfrerer, Writer
Luca Gfrerer is a senior at OHS. This is her second year being a part of Magnet. Gfrerer decided to join Magnet because she has an interest in journalism and wants to improve her writing skills. She is involved in band, dance and colorguard and is a manager for the school's football team. Outside of school, Gfrerer enjoys reading, listening to music, watching movies and hanging out with her friends.