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|KURT RUSSELL REMEMBERS ELVIS
December 26, 2015 - Event / Elvis Express Radio
Hollywood hotshot Kurt Russell’s got the perfect qualifications for the new Tarantino film, The Hateful 8. But, as he tells Event, he’s no stranger to violence. After all, his first acting
job was to kick Elvis in the shin, twice!
His many tough-guy film roles are a long way from his early days as a child star. He was signed by Walt Disney on a ten-year contract and made his (uncredited) film debut in the
Elvis Presley M.G.M movie 'It Happened At The World’s Fair' filmed on location at the Seattle Worlds Fair in 1963, where his small speaking role was to kick Elvis in the shin.
‘I probably did it too hard,’ he remembers. ‘But then I didn’t really know who he was.' However, the young Russell suspected that this Elvis guy was a somebody, 'I knew he was
famous because there were hundreds of girls screaming, but he was a wonderful guy, really down to earth… and no, I don’t do Elvis at karaoke.’
Elvis would play a pivotal role in his life subsequently, but not before Russell decided to take up pro baseball (he played for a number of teams in the Texas League) alongside
various TV and film projects in the Seventies – until a shoulder injury put a stop to his playing.
His breakthrough movie was Elvis in 1979 (aka Elvis The Movie), a TV biopic directed by John Carpenter, a man he would go on to work with a further four times (‘I’d love to do
another project with him. He’s like a brother to me’) and his career arc since then has been nothing if not varied – from Big Trouble In Little China to Backdraft.
Kurt Russell continued his association with Elvis, in 1994, when he provided the voice of the young Elvis (uncredited) in the movie Forrest Gump. Russell also reprises his time in
an Elvis jumpsuit in the 2001 Action/Comedy '3000 Miles To Graceland' which also starred Kevin Costner.