SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 05: Tom Hanks attends the Sydney premiere of ELVIS at the State Theatre on June 05, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)
TV - Movies
The Unique Way
Tom Hanks
Describes Colonel
Tom Parker
From Elvis
In a story published by The New York Times about Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis,” Tom Hanks explained that in researching the role of Colonel Tom Parker, he was "anticipating hearing horror stories about this venal, cheap crook." However, after speaking with Elvis's friend Jerry Schilling and wife Priscilla Presley, he found "Just the opposite. Both Priscilla and Jerry said he was a lovely man."
During a trip to Graceland to screen and discuss the film, Hanks spoke a little bit more about his interpretation of Parker's life and work. "Colonel Tom Parker was a carney, pure and simple," and he also pointed out that being a "carney" isn't as simple a designation as it might seem.
"Now, being a carney is a sleazy guy who overpays for soft-serve ice cream, chili dogs," said the actor, but he went on to say that there's another, more romantic side to the profession of a shameless showman and promoter like Colonel Tom. Hanks said Parker could be seen as someone who "understands these magic lights at the edge of town attract people who want to have a good time."