Cailee Spaeny felt the fear kick in as soon as she was cast as Priscilla Presley in Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla.
In a full circle moment, the 25-year-old actress found out she had booked the role while working on Civil War with Coppola’s muse Kirsten Dunst, who had recommended Spaeny to Coppola for the part.
“(I) saw Kirsten the day that I got it, and it was just really overwhelming and surreal to see her and have it all confirmed. I gave her a hug, and then I started to take on this massive challenge with, genuinely, my dream director,” the Bad Times at the El Royale star told The Hollywood Reporter.
“As a teenage girl, she got me into indie films, and one of her films was the first time I ever asked the question of who’s behind the camera. So that was an incredible call to get, but also terrifying. The fear kicked in almost immediately.”
Dunst, who has worked with Coppola on The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette and The Beguiled, was so impressed with Spaeny’s work on Civil War that she recommended her at a time when Coppola was trying to find her Priscilla. As a result of Dunst’s input, the Vice actress did not have to audition for the role.
“To enter into this film with that as a start was pretty special,” Spaeny noted. “It was also surreal in the sense that Kirsten played Marie Antoinette when she was around 23, and then I did this at 24. So it was funny that our paths crossed in that way. It felt very kismet. So Kirsten having that faith in me and Sofia trusting her was a great way to start this film. And very strange.”
Priscilla is in U.S. cinemas now.