Money was tight for Sofia Coppola when directing her new film “Priscilla,” so much so that an impromptu pickleball tournament on set gave her the idea of raffling off a day with one of her stars, Jacob Elordi.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Coppola said that the film’s cast and crew bonded over pickleball when the production crew built a court on set. “Everyone started to play at lunch and we had a big tournament at the end,” she said.
Elordi, who plays the legendary Elvis Presley in the film opposite Cailee Spaeny, turned out to be particularly skilled at the sport, even though Coppola said that the actor associated the game with “Malibu moms.”
“Our budget was always strained, low budget, and I was like, ‘I wonder if I could raffle off a pickleball game with Jacob to raise money to get one more day of shooting,’ ” Coppola said. “We didn’t, but he was a good sport. He indulged me, even though he’s not an enthusiast.”
“Priscilla” is based off of “Elvis and Me,” the 1985 memoir that reframes the famous relationship between the rock and roll icon and Priscilla Beaulieu from the latter’s perspective. After her husband’s death in 1977, Priscilla Presley founded Elvis Presley Enterprises, the company that turned the family home Graceland into an iconic tourist destination.
“Priscilla” premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where Spaeny won an award for her lead performance as Priscilla. The film will be released in theaters by A24 on Nov. 3.