“When the pandemic shut down production on filmmaker Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis in Australia, titular star Austin Butler retreated to his apartment for six months and literally surrounded himself with the King of Rock and Roll’s entire life. He would read (and reread) biographies and other material about Elvis Presley, jotting down every pivotal moment in chronological order.
“It was me keeping [the] entire timeline of his life in my mind,” the 31-year-old actor explains between sips of neon-green matcha. “I’d send Baz things [and] go, ‘This might be an interesting scene.’ But it’s hard. Whenever you try to sum up a human’s life in the length of a film, you gotta pick what moments you’re going to use.”
During his self-imposed sabbatical, Butler noticed one important location was suspiciously absent from the expansive Elvis script: Palm Springs. The desert oasis is where Presley famously honeymooned with Priscilla and later in life bought a Spanish Colonial ranch house dubbed Graceland West. He also frequently stayed at Palm Springs’ Riviera hotel, visited conniving manager “Colonel” Tom Parker at his own Vista Las Palmas vacation home, and filmed Kid Galahad in nearby Idyllwild…”