Rhys Meyers Talks to FOX About 'Elvis'

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Elvis is back in the building — again.

"ELVIS," (search) a new mini-series beginning Sunday night, presents the life of Elvis Presley (search) from age 18 to 33 — his rise to fame and fortune and its effect on him. It stars Irish star Jonathan Rhys Meyers (search), who played the coach in "Bend It like Beckham," as "The King."

The two-part TV movie, the first biographical film about the larger-than-life rock 'n' roll icon to feature Presley's master recordings, also stars Camryn Manheim as Gladys Presley and Rose McGowan as Ann-Margret.

Rhys Meyers talked to FOX News' Lisa Bernhard about his new role.

FOX: Now there have been so many movies that have been made about Elvis. How is this different?

Rhys Meyers: Well, I suppose this movie concentrated on him from 18 to 33, whereas a lot of the movies would have taken him right until his death in 1977. I really like that the script ended when it did, because it showed the good side of Elvis' life, what made him a phenomenon, rather than going into the Vegas years when he deteriorated, even though a little section of the film shows the beginning of his deterioration. Mainly it was [about] the electrifying new Elvis.

FOX: The Presley estate was involved in this. How much input directly did Priscilla and Lisa Marie have?

RM: I never spoke to them. It was more beneficial for me not to speak to them while making the film because I wanted to make a natural progression of playing Elvis Presley. I didn't want to overload myself with information about Elvis. I wanted to grow as Elvis grew.

FOX: Several of the actors who played Elvis — I know talking to the actor David Keith said he went to Graceland, sort of communed with Elvis—kind of channeled him. Did you find yourself doing anything like that?

RM: No. I don't think anybody's allowed into Elvis' bedroom. It's not allowed. Nobody goes upstairs.

FOX: He claimed he did — but you did shoot part of this in Graceland, though, correct?

RM: Correct. But we didn't shoot in the interior of the house. We were not allowed to shoot in the house. We were only allowed to shoot on the grounds of Graceland.

FOX: I imagine you got a lot of reaction walking around as Elvis around town as well?

RM: Not as much as you think. I don't have the Elvis look — if I started wearing sideburns and wearing a gold suit I would probably get a little bit more attention, maybe. No, it's been quite relaxed. I don't pay for the bus anymore — that's about that.

"Elvis" airs Sunday night at 9 p.m. EDT and Wednesday, May 11 at 8 PM ET/PT on CBS.