Priscilla Presley Details Elvis Presley’s Drug Abuse & Final Days In Documentary
The new HBO documentary Elvis Presley: The Searcher gives an inside look to the parts of the King of Rock n’ Roll’s life that has never been shared before.
The legend’s former wife Priscilla Presley was the executive producer for the documentary and held a panel at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin. She was alongside director Thom Zimny, Sony Music’s John Jackson, and country songwriter David Porter.
During the panel she expressed that it was hard at times to revisit the darker memories. “It was difficult for all of us, we certainly didn’t see it coming. But we certainly saw the journey he was taking,” she said.
One of the main topics of the film was the singer’s struggle with prescription drug abuse, Zimny often consulted Presley about what had happened and the experience of being there with him. However, he felt that some details should only be touched on and not dwelled on. “It’s not a clear black and white situation,” he said. “When I was looking at certain tracks [from] the very end of his life…I still have this feeling that there was a man who was connecting to the music and that this story has been told one way. Sitting and listening to that music and also talking at length with Priscilla, I realized that we were going to be able to touch on some of the tragic moments, not dwell in the details of it.”
Presley discusses about what led him to get to that point of addiction and how she has dealt with people who said no one did anything to help him. “People go, ‘well why didn’t anyone do anything?’ Well, that’s not true. People there in the inner group did, but you did not tell Elvis Presley what to do. You did not. I mean, you’d be out of there faster than a scratched cat. They would try and no way. He knew what he was doing.”
Presley also credits much of Elvis’s abuse to time in the U.S. Army — he started taking pills when he was stationed in Germany for two years.
The film does not just focus on the dark times of his life, but also discusses his childhood and how he came to become the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Fans will have the chance to watch the emotional documentary on April 14 on HBO.