23 year-old Gladys Presley was a slender young thang when Elvis Presley was born in 1935. She’d put on a few pounds (but not too many) by the time he was 10, but had become quite chubby by the mid ’50s, when she was in her early 40s. (Elvis followed suit, calorically speaking, when he hit the same age.) In 1958 the poor woman died of heart failure (i.e., clogged arteries) at age 46, lasting four years longer than her illustrious son.
I’m mentioning this because Baz Luhrman has cast the svelte Maggie Gyllenhaal to play Gladys in his ’50s rock biopic, Elvis. Which means Gyllenhaal will have to (a) wear a fat suit with fat prosthetics or (b) pull a Christian Bale and pack on the pounds with bowls of pasta and ice cream every night.
That or the movie could just pretend that Gladys wasn’t overweight. Baz can obviously do whatever he wants.
The forthcoming Warner Bros. biopic will star Austin Butler (i.e., Tex Watson in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood) and Tom Hanks as Presley’s demonic manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Principal photography will begin this spring.
Elvis Presley, 21, and his 44 year-old mother Gladys in 1956.
Gladys, Elvis and Vernon in 1937 or thereabouts.