The initial plan was for Priscilla’s involvement in the show’s on-screen plot to be relatively minor. But as the overall contribution of the former Priscilla Beaulieu expanded while the series was being developed, and her first-person tales of Elvis kept influencing the stories, Eddie found himself approaching her about voicing herself in the show. It wasn’t that off the wall — Priscilla has more than a dozen acting credits as to her name, including several years on “Dallas,” the infamous Andrew Dice Clay film “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane,” and a lead role in three “Naked Gun” films opposite Leslie Nielsen.
“There was going to be less interaction with Priscilla,” recalls Arnold. “But when we started writing the scripts and asked her, ‘Hey, would you want to…’ Even though she was a creator and so involved, I still had to go to her and say, ‘Would you be into this?’ The episode I wrote is based on when Elvis and Priscilla took LSD at Graceland. That’s a real thing that they did. It’s in her book. And she’s definitely a presence throughout the season.”
Ultimately, it was McConaughey who may have pushed Presley into her first acting work in several years.
“Priscilla’s willingness to portray herself escalated once Matthew came on as Elvis,” Arnold added. “I think she really looked forward to the idea of acting across from Matthew.”
In the final episode of Season 1, Priscilla becomes disillusioned with Elvis’ absence and abandons him in Hawaii. As Elvis seemingly vanishes, the storyline adds a dramatic element to an otherwise mostly comedic show. Elvis, as portrayed here, is a family-oriented man trying to find the time for both his passions and his family.
While the story of Elvis has been told from many perspectives, and Priscilla will soon have her own story told by Sofia Coppola, “Agent Elvis” offers a unique tone colored by both the remembrances of The King’s only wife, and her willingness to laugh at the more surreal elements of their time together.