Jacob Elordi at the Euphoria season 2 premiere

Jacob Elordi Had Such a Gen Z Intro to Elvis Presley Before ‘Priscilla’

Jacob Elordi had a very Gen Z-coded introduction to Elvis Presley years before he was cast as the music icon in Priscilla. Elordi admitted that most of what he knew about Presley before landing the role came from the animated Disney film Lilo & Stitch.

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Priscilla, set to premiere on November 3, is the latest film to tackle the life of Presley, following last year’s Elvis. While Austin Butler gave an award-winning performance as the King of Rock and Roll in Elvis, Elordi is now stepping into the singer’s shoes. Directed by Sofia Coppola, Priscilla is pretty different from Elvis as it focuses on the perspective of Presley’s wife, Priscilla Presley (Cailee Spaeny), and tracks the pair’s relationship from their first encounter—when Priscilla was just 14. While Elvis largely glossed over the pair’s controversial age gap, Priscilla doesn’t ignore that Priscilla was 14 and Presley was 24 when they began dating, though Priscilla has always been firm that their relationship was respectful and consensual.

Butler undeniably had a very powerful connection to Presley and truly tried to become one with the singer. However, not all millennials or Gen Zers grew up knowing about Presley. Previous generations grew up listening to his music or hearing their parents talk about him, but younger generations might learn about Presley more indirectly from pop culture references. And that’s why Gen Z will find Elordi’s introduction to Presley quite relatable.

Did all of us learn about Elvis Presley from Lilo & Stitch?

Stitch dressed as Elvis Presley in Lilo & Stitch
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Elordi recently appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to speak about Priscilla. (He has been permitted to promote the film during the SAG-AFTRA strike because of an interim agreement.) During the interview, Elordi admitted that Presley wasn’t a role he had ever set out to play. In fact, before Priscilla, he wasn’t very familiar with the singer at all. He told Fallon, “No, the most I knew of Elvis was in Lilo & Stitch.” While he has since delved deeper into Presley, his quote reminded me that I, too, was first introduced to Presley through Disney’s 2002 animated film.

If you’re a Gen Zer, you may not know who Presley is, but you have almost certainly watched Lilo & Stitch. That movie was basically the pinnacle of my childhood. In the film, Lilo (Daveigh Chase) decides to teach Stitch (Chris Sanders) to be a “model citizen.” Part of that instruction includes teaching him about Presley. It’s not too long before Stitch appears in full Presley get-up, strumming a guitar and impersonating the singer. Not only that, but the film’s soundtrack also features six of Presley’s most famous songs, making it a pretty expansive introduction to Presley for little kids.

Looking at social media, I quickly realized I wasn’t the only Gen Zer who found Elordi’s revelation relatable or had a core memory unlocked about Stitch impersonating Presley.

Gen Z owes a lot of appreciation to Lilo & Stitch for teaching them some music history. While some may think that Elordi should’ve been more fully engrossed in Presley, that’s just not going to be the reality as younger generations step into the roles of past musicians. When you’re a Gen Zer, you’re not born fully knowledgeable of the past, and there’s nothing wrong with admitting that a Disney movie is the reason you know about Elvis Presley.

(via Yahoo, featured image: Jeff Kravitz, Getty Images)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.