Elvis Presley’s shady manager: Tom Hanks dissect his character

Cannes, May 26 (IANS) Oscar-winning Hollywood star Tom Hanks on Thursday opened up about Colonel Tom Parker, the not-so-reputable character he plays in ‘Elvis’, the Baz Luhrmann-helmed biopic that opened to a thunderous reception at the 75th Cannes Film Festival.

The first question Hanks fielded from journalists, according to ‘Variety’, concerned his thick, and at times unintelligible, Dutch-American accent as Colonel Parker in the movie.

He skirted around the question and spoke at length instead about learning more about pop icon Elvis Presley’s notorious manager, who “was a delightful guy” who could light up every room he walked into.

“Was he a cheap crook that played fast and loose? Yeah, when it comes down to that, but I worked that all out to everyone’s satisfaction,” Hanks said. “He was a man who brought joy to everything he did — along with a bit of larceny.” He described Parker as a “mercurial and brilliant man who at the same time lined his own pockets”.

Critics have praised Austin Butler’s tour de force performance as Elvis, but Hanks’s accent for Parker has been singled out as one of the movie’s weaker turns, according to ‘Variety’. Some have even called Hanks’s prosthetic nose and padding to resemble the heavy-set Parker distracting.

Talking about Parker, Hanks said to laughs from the assembled media: “I’m not interested in playing a bad guy just for the sake of, ‘Before I kill you Mr Bond would you like a tour of my installation?’ That’s okay. I get it, but I think that’s for other stuff.”

He then went on to add: “What Baz tantalised me with right off the bat was, here’s a guy who saw the opportunity to manifest a once-in-a-lifetime talent into a cultural force. He sought that and knew that about Elvis the first time he saw Elvis’s effect on an audience. He realised that guy was forbidden fruit and you could make an awful lot of money off of forbidden fruit.”