- Cliona Furey, hair designer on Priscilla, revealed the high price of the film’s wigs
- The hit movie is based on the 78-year-old star’s 1985 memoir, titled Elvis and Me
- Furey explained that each wig cost $10,000 before coloring and styling them
Priscilla hair designer Cliona Furey has revealed actress Cailee Spaeny transformed into Elvis Presley’s wife by wearing $50,00 worth of wigs.
The film, which premiered in late October 2023, was directed by Sofia Coppola and follows the real-life tale of how Priscilla Presley met rock ‘n roll star Elvis and their ensuing love story, based on the star’s 1985 memoir, Elvis and Me.
In an interview with Allure this month, the head hair stylist took viewers behind the scenes, and divulged what it really took to get that signature bouffant just right, and how she told the story through hair.
‘I have really nice handmade wigs [which I sent] to Stacey [Butterworth, the wig maker] and she put new tops and fronts on them all in like three weeks,’ Furey told the outlet.
‘Then I adjusted the color,’ she continued about the wigs, some of which were from her own collection and cost $10,000 each.
Of course, this isn’t Furey’s first rodeo. She has previously worked on films like Nightmare Alley and A Simple Favor.
Furey dished that she used about seven different wigs in the film, as we never see the actresses’ real hair.
Two of the wigs were used for photographs, and five were used in the actual shooting of the movie, which took about 30 days to make.
The price of the wigs did not include any color or extra hair that was added in by Butterworth, the hair designer explained.
Although the hair may have appeared elaborate, it only took about 45 minutes to get Spaeny in and out of the hair and makeup chair, where she sometimes had to sit to get glam for five looks per day.
For both Jacob Elordi, who played Elvis, and Spaney, she altered their hairlines to get a more accurate look, filling them both out.
Priscilla Presley, who is now 78, met Elvis when she was 14, and married him a few years later, when she was 21.
They separated in 1972, and finalized their divorce one year later.
The couple had one child together, Lisa Marie, who was born in 1968. She tragically passed away on January 12, 2023, after suffering from a cardiac arrest.
In order to come up with all the hairstyles and color, Furey found photos and videos from specific moments after reading the script and put together various storyboards.
Furey told the outlet that she spent a lot of time mastering the color on each of the wigs, like the one used in the ‘family portrait’ scene, which she worked on perfecting for four days.
As another example, when the young Priscilla was introduced on the screen as a 14-year-old, Furey went with a light brown, in order for the hair to look more natural.
‘Her hair is telling a story,’ Furey told the outlet. ‘I went with a lighter color than I know she had at 14. Her hair was quite dark, actually.’
In order to recreate the moment where Priscilla gave birth — which she did in full-glam — the hairstylist put an additional hairpiece into the wig that Spaeny was wearing.
‘I used old vintage hair toppers from the ‘50s, they’re almost like a three-quarter or half of a wig,’ Furey explained.
They were so large, she said, that it was almost like the actress had on two wigs.
Although Furey did take some creative liberties during the process, she was also extremely careful about Priscilla’s physical depiction in the film.
‘Our movie is a small independent film and it’s about the intimate moments between the two of them when no one was around,’ she told Allure.
‘It’s about her journey as a young girl growing into a woman in that environment and in that relationship.
‘We covered a lot of tender scenes between the two of them when they’re getting ready for bed or they’re laying in bed and they’re talking.’
‘There are no photos of those moments available, so I was just careful not to impersonate Priscilla.’