While 2022 saw the (cinematic) revival of Elvis, the end of 2023 saw the return of another Presley to our screens – his ex-wife, Priscilla. The biograohical drama – which was written, directed, and produced by Sofia Coppola – is based on the 1985 memoir Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley, who served as an executive producer on the project. While the film has ceratinly made headlines for its portrayal of the couple's divisive relationship, Team HJ is more intrugued by the headline that Cailee Spaeny, who played the titular character, wore a staggering $50,000 worth of wigs.
Lead Hair Designer for Priscilla, Cliona Furey used a total of seven wigs to transform Cailee into Priscilla – five were used in filming, and an additional two were used for photographic purposes. According to allure, Cliona used wigs from her own collection for the film, telling the publication: “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."“Then I adjusted the color.” On average, each wig is said to be worth $10,000 – and that's before the alterations were made.
With the movie spanning 13 years, Cliona also faced the challenge of depicting Cailee as a 14-year-old through to a 27-year-old. Discussing this, Cliona explained: “Her hair is telling a story. I went with a lighter color than I know she had at 14. Her hair was quite dark, actually.
“I knew my second wig was going to be a black wig with the bang.I wanted to show the difference in time and her change as a human being [once she’s] with him.” In fact, the second wig is the only true-black wig used in the film, with Cliona explaining to allure,“Dark hair always reads darker on camera. The third wig, which I called her ‘Memphis glam wig,’ is longer and it's not quite black — it’s more of a very, very rich dark brown, but I added a nice chestnut into it.”
Meanwhile, the fourth wig, dubbed the 'family portrait' wig, is more of a burgandy-cherry colour, while the final wig, worn in the scene where Priscilla leaves Elvis, mirrors her first look. Throughout the movie, Cliona asserts: "We see her transition away from herself and then back to herself [once she leaves her husband]. She's gone back to natural again."
Check out some of our favourite hair looks from Priscilla by clicking on the gallery below...
Image credits: A24