Tom Hanks’ Connection to Elvis Presley Stretches Far Beyond ‘Elvis’ Biopic

by Samantha Whidden

Prior to taking the role of Colonel Tom Parker in the “Elvis” biopic, Tom Hanks reportedly had a different kind of connection with Elvis Presley

According to Techno Trenz, Elvis Presley notably has a “common thread” throughout Tom Hanks’ 30-year acting career. The actor notably spent hours in the makeup chair as he assumed the role of Parker and changed his appearance. His part in the film just emphasized the shaky ties to the late music legend. 

The key connection, however, is through Tom Hanks’ makeup artist, Dan Striepeke, who met Hanks on the set of “Dragnet” in 1987. Striepeke notably worked with Presley while on the set of the 1962 film, “Follow That Dream.”

Tom Hanks told Stephen Colbert recently that his makeup artist also gave Elvis Presley his high-profile tan in “Viva Las Vegas” and “Harum Scarum.” Striepeke and Hanks remained friends for 20 years before the makeup artist passed away in 2019.

Along with his makeup artist’s connection, Tom Hank also played the King in 2004 when he played “Mailbox Elvis” in “Elvis Has Left the Building,” which starred Kim Bassinger and John Corbett. The film is about a fugitive Pink Lady rep who hooks up with a bored ad executive as she’s trying to avoid going down for the murder of several Elvis impersonators. 

Tom Hanks Opens Up About How He Prepared For His ‘Elvis’ Role’s Most Emotional Scenes 

While speaking to Collider last month, Tom Hanks spoke about how he prepared for his role’s most emotional scenes in the “Elvis” biopic. 

“It’s a beast,” Tom Hanks stated about a major scene in the film. “But you are aware of when that scene is coming. And if it’s on day 46 of a 68-day shooting schedule, there is a piece of you that is preparing for day 46 every day from one through 45. You are aware that this thing is going to be coming up and you corral all the emotional sheep slowly over the course of it. But what you’re describing there is literally something that happens on movies.”

Tom Hanks further explained that the first three days of filming are chaos. “You think you’re going to get fired and nothing works. And you hate the director the first day and he’s okay the second. By the third day, you’re in love with him. Anything can happen during those first three days. Then after that, you just have to have this faith in your own individual process and the power of the script.”

“Elvis” first premiered on June 24th. The film has so far garnished more than $191.9 million at the box office. Starring in the film alongside Tom Hanks is Austin Butler, Dacre Montgomery, Olivia DeJonge, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.