Tom Hanks could disappear into the role of Colonel Tom Parker in Elvis
Tom Hanks felt he could disappear into the part of Colonel Tom Parker in 'Elvis'.
The 65-year-old actor plays the King of Rock and Roll's manager in Baz Luhrmann's new biopic and explained that he was happy to play a supporting role to Austin Butler's portrayal of the late music icon.
Tom told Entertainment Weekly: "Playing Elvis is like playing Jesus, and it doesn't really matter who plays Pontius Pilate because if you have a good Jesus, you got it.
"I had the luxury of essentially recreating somebody who no one really knew. I had a different layer of expectations."
Tom had to spend five hours per day in the make-up chair to recreate the Colonel's look and confessed that it was the most challenging aspect of the part.
The 'Forrest Gump' star explained: "The challenge for me, as well as the freedom, was having this engineered look every day. Because what you get from that is a suit of armour."
Baz explained that the "paradox" of the Colonel – who had a controlling influence on Elvis despite helping make him a star – is what makes the character so appealing.
The director said: "If Shakespeare was looking to take on a historical character now, you couldn't go past the idea of the Colonel and Elvis.
"The Colonel is like Falstaff with a chainsaw. Because Shakespearean villains are never just a bad guy. Colonel Tom Parker absolutely did diabolical things. But he also did extraordinarily genius things. So everything is a paradox and a coin flip. That's what makes him so delicious."
Butler praised the decision to cast Hanks as the Colonel as it added further complexity to the character.
The 30-year-old star said: "You can see Colonel Tom Parker as despicable, but when it's Tom, he's such an incredible actor, that he can justify everything and he's not playing a bad guy in his mind.
"He's so justified that it made me have to double down and question, 'Wait, maybe he's right in this moment. You seem right.' That was amazing because you still see the twinkle in his eyes."