Elvis Presley’s Co-Star Said She’d Rather Starve Than Appear in This Movie With Him

Many famous actors appeared in Elvis Presley movies. One of them did not want to appear in the Elvis film she was offered. During an interview, this actor said she’d rather starve alongside her child that appear in the movie

Elvis Presley strumming his guitar on a boat surrounded by other actors
Elvis Presley on a boat surrounded by other actors | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

This prolific actor once played Elvis Presley’s love interest

Stella Stevens is an actress known for roles in films such as the original versions of The Nutty ProfessorThe Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and The Poseidon Adventure. She also had roles in Alfred Hitchcock PresentsMurder, She Wrote, The Love Boat, and several other television series. Before she appeared in any of those projects, she shared the screen with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

She played one of Elvis’ two love interests in the musical Girls! Girls! Girls! Stevens played a nightclub singer whose relationship with Elvis’ character turned sour. In the film, Stevens shows off her singing talent.

Stella Stevens in a bikini
Stella Stevens | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

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Why Stella Stevens didn’t want to make a movie with Elvis Presley

According to the Daily Express, Stevens initially wanted to appear in Girls! Girls! Girls! but she quickly changed her mind. “I was sent the script by Paramount to read,” she recalled. “And I thought, ‘Hm, he’s from Memphis, and so am I. That’s a good idea to put us together.’ So I read the script. I wound up throwing it across the room! I thought, ‘What a piece of s***. I’m not going to be in this.'”

Stevens didn’t seem concerned with the consequences of turning down the movie. “I said, ‘I’ll starve. I don’t care. My child will starve because of you, and we will die because of you, because I will not do this junk,'” she remembered. “So they said, ‘Please reconsider’, and they promised that my next film would be with Montgomery Clift. And I said, ‘Oh, well, yes. Okay, I’ll do the Elvis picture. It’s only six days’ work, and I’ll just forget about it.'” For context, Clift was a major star at the time.

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The impact of ‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’

Even if Stevens wasn’t a fan of Girls! Girls! Girls!, the film had an impact on pop culture. The film included Elvis performing the famous song “Return to Sender.” The track peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 16 weeks. The song charted even higher in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, “Return to Sender” hit No. 1 in the U.K., staying on the chart for 14 weeks.

The soundtrack of Girls! Girls! Girls! became a major hit as well. The Official Charts Company reports the soundtrack peaked at No. 2 in the U.K., staying on the chart for 21 weeks. While Stevens didn’t like the script of Girls! Girls! Girls!, the movie gave the world a classic hit song.

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