Speaking at a press conference following the premiere, she addressed she and Elvis' controversial age gap, sharing that the late singer was "respectful" of it. The two met in Germany in 1959 when Priscilla was 14 and Elvis was 24, while the singer was serving in the US Army. (Her stepfather was stationed in the Air Force there.)
"It was very difficult for my parents to understand that Elvis would be so interested in me and I really do think because I was more of a listener," Presley said.
"Elvis would pour his heart out to me, his fears, his hopes, the loss of his mother which he never ever got over, and I was the person who really really sat there to listen and to comfort him," she said. "I was a little bit older in life than in numbers and that was the attraction. And you know, people think, Oh, it was sex... Not at all. I never had sex with him. He was very kind, very soft, very loving. But he also respected the fact that I was only 14 years old. We were more in mind and thought. And that was our relationship."
Bettmann Archive/Getty Priscilla and Elvis Presley
Presley said it was "very difficult to sit and watch a film" about her life and love. "Sofia did an amazing job, she did her homework," she said. "And I really put everything out for her that I could."
The two were married from 1967 to 1973. At the press conference, Presley called him the love of her life, noting that it wasn't a loss of love that split them up. "It was the lifestyle that was so difficult for me, and I think any woman can relate to that," she said. "But it didn't mar our relationship, we still remained very close. And of course, we had our daughter, and I made sure that he saw her all the time. It was like we never left each other."
Based on Presley's 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, Coppola's film, in theaters Oct. 27, stars Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi as the lovebirds. Both stars were in attendance at the festival alongside their director amid the ongoing Hollywood strikes after having received a waver from SAG-AFTRA. Spaeny called the title role "daunting, but I got very lucky to have some time with Priscilla," she said. "She was very generous with her time and very kind to me and supportive."
"The most impressive things to me is the scale of this love and the power of this love," Elordi added. "And even to this day even though he's not here, when you talk to Priscilla you can still feel the love."