Tom Hanks addresses divisive role in new Elvis movie

Tom Hanks played the polarizing role of Colonel Tom Parker in Baz Luhrmann Elvis.

The bridge of spies featured as Dutch-born Elvis Presley’s manager opposite Austin Butler in the lead role.

Showing at Cannes this year, the film was criticized for Hanks’ thick accent as Parker, real name Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk. According Varietythe actor appeared to avoid commenting directly on research into the manager’s Dutch origins.

Warner Bros.

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“The number of ways Parker tricked people with nickels, pennies and dollars is extraordinary, and in my own way, I’ve incorporated some of that into my own life,” Hanks said.

“Regarding his background, I don’t think anyone knew the Colonel’s background. There are extraordinary, tabloid and melodramatic stories about why and how he left Holland.

“I’d like to think, yeah, he was running from some aspect of his past and escaping his small town, and who among us wouldn’t jump at the chance to do just that?”

austin butler as elvis presley

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

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According to the official synopsis, Elvis will focus on “the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning more than 20 years, from Presley’s rise to prominence to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the changing cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America”.

Hanks continued, “Was he a cheap crook who played fast and free? Yeah, in the end, but I worked it all out to everyone’s satisfaction. He was a man who brought joy everything he did – with a little larceny.”

Along with Hanks and Butler, Elvis also stars stranger things‘ Dacre Montgomery, Olivia DeJonge and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Elvis hits cinemas from June 24.

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