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Priscilla: Recreating the luxurious midcentury interiors of Graceland

Priscilla: Recreating the luxurious midcentury interiors of Graceland

Set in the 1960s and 1970s, Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla delves into the world of Elvis Presley’s Memphis mansion, Graceland. For the purposes of filming however, Production Designer Tamara Deverell and her team recreated the iconic home, with a touch of creative interpretation, in Toronto.

Drawing inspiration from Priscilla Presley’s memoir, Elvis and Me, published in 1985, the film chronicles the tumultuous romantic relationship between Priscilla Presley (portrayed by Cailee Spaeny) and the legendary Elvis Presley (played by Jacob Elordi).

The living room of Graceland recreated for Priscilla
Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla Presley in the living room of Graceland recreated for Priscilla. Photo: Sabrina Lantos

At the tender age of 14 in 1959, Priscilla Beaulieu first encountered Elvis, and by the time she turned 18, she had left her home in Germany to reside in the enchanting 17,552 square feet Graceland. It became her main home for nearly a decade.

With access to the original floorplans of Graceland, Deverell’s reimagination of the grand estate pays homage to historical accuracy, capturing the essence of the layout and iconic features such as the famous gates adorned with musical notes. However, her approach also incorporates a creative interpretation, allowing viewers to experience the emotions and sensations that a young Priscilla would have felt during this transformative period.

The gates of Graceland in Priscilla
The gates of Graceland in Priscilla

Deverell drew inspiration from three pivotal photographs in recreating the interior design and decor, to capture the essence of Priscilla’s time at Graceland. The colour palette exudes elegance, featuring creamy whites, soothing blues, and opulent golds, creating a visually stunning and luxurious abode.

The living room of Graceland recreated for Priscilla
The living room of Graceland recreated for Priscilla. Photo: Sabrina Lantos
midcentury lighting chairish
Midcentury chandeliers, floor lamps and table lamps from Chairish.

Get the luxury midcentury look with midcentury chandeliers, floor lamps and table lamps from Chairish.

Priscilla film rug
A cream and hazlenut rug adorned with musical notes and a guitar, as seen in Priscilla

Many of the exquisite decor pieces showcased in the film were specially crafted for the purpose of filming, including the living room sofa and Elvis’s iconic white piano. However, when it came to Elvis’s bedroom, the art department faced a challenge due to the scarcity of available imagery. They decided to embrace a “dark man-cave” aesthetic, incorporating blacks, blues, and golds, with padded leather doors and sumptuous velvet drapery, creating an intimate and mysterious escape from reality. Intriguingly, amidst the gold flock wallpaper, dark brown carpet, and ornate wooden furniture, a Jesus statue and a striped tiger sculpture add a touch of eccentricity.

Elivis' bedroom in Priscilla
Elivis’ bedroom in Priscilla. Photo: Sabrina Lantos
Elivis' bedroom in Priscilla
Jacob Elordi as Elvis and Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla in Elivis’ bedroom in Priscilla. Photo: Sabrina Lantos

Reflecting the natural evolution of a home and the tendency for people to redecorate over time, subtle changes occur throughout the film, while the essence of the main rooms remains constant. Deep rugs, yellow curtains, and pearly walls contribute to the ambiance that permeates Graceland.

Graceland exterior in Priscilla
Graceland exterior in Priscilla. Photo: Sabrina Lantos

The exterior scenes were filmed at a private residence just outside Toronto, where the dedicated set builders recreated the facade of Graceland. Combined with the magic of visual effects, the result is a convincing portrayal of the iconic mansion.

Priscilla Presley, who co-founded and acted as former chairperson of Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE), played a pivotal role in transforming Graceland into one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in the United States. For those eager to experience the allure of Graceland firsthand, tickets and visit planning can be found at Graceland.com

 

Priscilla, a production by A24, was released on November 3, 2023, and can be enjoyed in theaters and on HBO Max in the United States. UK audiences can anticipate its arrival in cinemas on January 5, 2024.

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