Kelvin Harrison Jr. teases B.B. King portrayal in ‘Elvis’

"It's going to be epic"

Kelvin Harrison Jr. has teased his portrayal of legendary blues guitarist B.B. King in the upcoming Elvis Presley biopic.

The new Baz Luhrmann film will see Once Upon A Time In Hollywood‘s Austin Butler play Presley alongside Tom Hanks as manager Colonel Tom Parker, and fans were recently given a first look in a trailer.

Harrison Jr. spoke to NME on the BAFTAs red carpet last night (March 13), where he touched a bit on the film and revealed he had a playlist of “great B.B. King songs” to help him get into character, including ‘The Thrill Is Gone’.


Elvis comes out in the summer, and I play B.B. King. That’s really cool, I’m really excited for people to see it. It’s going to be epic,” the star teased.

B.B. King and Kelvin Harrison Jr
B.B. King and Kelvin Harrison Jr. CREDIT: AP Photo / Lisa Poole / Getty / Mike Marsland

Explaining what he’s most excited for audiences to see, Harrison Jr. added: “Just the music, and Austin’s portrayal of Elvis is pretty remarkable.

“I remember just sitting there watching him do it, and being uncomfortably blown away by how much he was Elvis. I was like, ‘this is bizarre’. But I’d never seen anything like that before, so it was really cool.”

The recent first trailer is narrated by Hanks’ character, and includes scenes of Butler performing on stage in character. There are also allusions to Presley’s death aged 47, as well as social commentary with the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King Jr..


The film is also set to star Olivia DeJonge as Presley’s wife Priscilla Presley, while Luhrmann is directing as well as writing alongside Craig Pearce. He will also produce with Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss.

Harrison Jr., who was nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award two years ago, most recently starred in Cyrano and The Trial Of The Chicago 7.

Meanwhile, last night’s BAFTAs saw The Power Of The Dog win the major awards for Best Film and Best Director, while Dune walked away with the biggest haul of the night with five wins.

Elvis will arrive in cinemas on June 24.