.... One of the "Paradise Hawaiian Style" girls (I forget which one but not Suzanna Leigh) dismissed Elvis in interviews at that time.
I believe it was Marianna Hill.
Tom (from Ohio)
Here is what Marianna Hill had to say about Elvis and his Guys.
From Motion Picture Magazine, April 1966
Marianna Hill: The Girl Who Turned Elvis off!
by Tony Taylor
We were shocked to read starlet Mariana Hill's scathing attack on Elvis Presley, but think it only fair to Elvis to air out these unkind stories.
Some months ago, I found myself on a hotline to Hawaii with that Marianna Hill girl. She was at the time, Elvis Presley's leading lady. Which, in itself, is some kind of distinction.
At that time, there were hot romance rumors linking the vivacious Miss Hill and the still-very-single Mr. Presley. All that talk triggered my trans-Pacific call to their Paradise, Hawaiian Style location site in Honolulu.
To my surprise, it seemed that Marianna was that very rare one-in-a-million gal who just didn't succumb to the charms of the King. But, of course, she was not the run-of-the-mill girl either. She was not even the typical Hollywood starlet. She happened to be a pretty girl who, according to her own opinion, takes her acting very seriously.
She was an interviewer's delight-- intellingent, forthright, and a bit of a kook. So I just sat back and listened, adding an occasional line of sympathy for her obvious lonely state.
"Hawaii's so beautiful," she bubbled. Then she sighed. "But it's like being alone in paradise. There's no one to share it with.
"Elvis and his entourage (the 12 boys plus the police guards that stand outside his local hotel suite all night) stick together. They aren't too friendly or warm or outgoing, and they have rather a defensive way about them. They're suspicious about people they don't know.
"It's kind of difficult," Mariana confessed, "trying to be congenial, because every time I speak, the boys think I'm just buttering them up to get to Elvis.
"They always expect you to go to them. Then if you do, it's as if you want something from them. That's no way to treat a lady.
"When I arrived I wasn't introduced to either Elvis, or Colonel Tom Parker, his manager. In both instances I had to walk up and introduce myself. Neither one said, 'Hello, how are you?'
"I was terribly enthusiastic about coming to Hawaii and working with Elvis, you know. But it's nothing like I expected.
"One night I was so bored," she realted with somewhat obvoius pleasure, "I decided to alarm them all and give them a big thrill. Our hotel is shaped in such a way that Elvis and his gang can see my suite from their balcony. I can never go out on my own balcony without them yelling, 'Oh, look! Look, everybody... there's Country! They call me that because I teased them at the very beginning with, 'Hey, boys, y'all wearing shoes now?'
"But the night in question, I put on black tights, and a black leotard and went out on my balcony, pretending I wasn't aware of them watching. I did a wild ballet to an opera that was playing on the stereo. All of them came out to see. I still didn't acknowlege them; I just kept dancing. When I finished, I went directly back into my room and didn't come out again. Every night since, they've kept watch to see if I will dance again. One day on the set, one of the boys even asked, 'Why don't you dance no any more, Country?" I played the prima donna. 'You watched? You saw me dancing? I'll never dance again!'
"A couple of days later, Elvis and several of his gang tackled me and rolled me in the sand. Elvis rolled right on top of me and rolled me under. And it wasn't romantic," she giggled. "It was more scary than anything else. And, in doing so, he broke my best pair of sunglasses.
"I got even the other day. Elvis and I were doing a song and dance routine for the cameras. It was actually a take. I was in control, and every now and then I'd jab him in the back as I danced around him. He'd try to get even with me by stepping on my toes.
"We havent fought all the time, though. At first we held hands a lot between scenes. If you can call it hand-holding. Elvis would bounce my hand between his hands and then sort of pat mine.
"Once in a while--but only once in a while--he just holds it. But not for long at a time. He holds hands very reluctantly. If a photographer or one of his boys or anybody walks by, Elvis immediately pulls his hand right away. I guess he's too afraid of what everybody is thinking. I think he's afraid of exposing his feelings.
"And if one of the boys teases him for doing some particular thing, he won't do it again.
"Elvis kisses like a frightened child," Marianna opined. "I felt the same thing when I first kissed him in a love scene as I did when he holds my hand. And it hasn't changed. It's like he's afraid to get involved--even in a screen kiss. He doesn't seem to to be able to differentiate between acting and reality.
"Elvis is not a particularly accomplished actor. He doesn't approach acting the way most actors do. He imagines it as some way of getting involved in the things he tries to avoid. An actor's job is being involved in what he's doing.
"Instead, he makes a big deal of it. After each kiss, he feigns a little swoon and the boys giggle. It's as though he has to show the gang that he really doesn't care.
"I don't think he even knows how to kiss," Marianna continued. "Maybe that's what Elvis is afraid of. Of having someone find out he can't kiss.
"Elvis seems to have the attitude that all women are trying to make out and that he has to avoid them. I guess this is because of women throwing themselves at him. I should say girls, because I'm not sure Elvis would interest a mature woman.
"He seems to have the idea that everybody is after him and that he has to protect himself. I dont think that Elvis would be aggressive in a relationship with a woman."
Then she added, "When I first worked with Elvis, he seemed somewhat flirty. He says things I'm sure he's said a lot of times--things that he's decided are the right things to say, like how small and dainty my hands are, or something.
"Elvis is a rather big guy. Over six feet. But he's not in such great shape. In fact, he was putting on weight during the first weeks of the filming, so he'd sneak out of the hotel late each night to go work out at a gym.
"Elvis loves starchy foods, which accounts for his tendency to gain weight. Things like mashed potatoes and bread. He likes popcorn a lot.
"He really doesn't eat a balanced diet. Yet he looks young. Too young, I think. He's 30 and his face doesn't look like he's lived at all. There's no maturity, no lines, no muscles in his face.
"He just likes to stay inside and eat popcorn and watch television and laugh it up with the boys. Just live in the big house. When he sees a girl that interests him, he has the boys make all the arrangements. Then she goes up into the house and they eat popcorn.
"A long time ago somebody asked Elvis, 'Why do you have all these boys around--they're not good for you?' And Elvis replied, 'Who else would talk to me?' It's interesting that he had that feeling. I think it's pretty indicative of having a true inferiority thing happening.
"Someone told me that Elvis often calls Colonel Tom during the night for reassurance that it's all not going to end.
"A friend said that when he was on location with Elvis for another picture, it started to rain, and they all ran to the nearest tree for cover. Elvis started talking: 'Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and ask myself if this is going to last; what if I can't sing any more and everything runs out?' Elvis then calls the Colonel who says, 'Don't worry boy, everything's going to be all right.'
"I think Elvis shies away from the public because he's afraid. Not because he's afraid of being mobbed, but because he's afraid of showing himself. Therefore, he thinks that every time he gets out he has to put on a great big show.
"When not on the set, the boys stay up there together in Elvis' suite, hiding away from the world. The boys go down to the lobby in shifts and take in all the action, then come back and tell Elvis what's happening.
"The gang is always trying to catch me at something. They're constantly asking me who I go out with, what I do, and why they never see me out. Then they report to Elvis.
"The boys carry attachè cases. It's like big businessmen wearing velours and Levi's. Except their breif cases are full of nonsense. Playing cards, Pepsis movie magazines, aspirin--articles that don't mean a thing. They sit around on the set all day, with little or nothing to do, yet they get these very important looks on their faces.
"Elvis has this big, black Rolls Royce, not because he digs it, not because he looks at the wood and says, "Oh yes, look at this,' the way a conoisseur would--but because he thinks you're supposed to have a Rolls if you're important. They park it outside the stage door.
"All the boys run around after work (carrying those attachè cases) with very authoritative looks on their faces. Some pile into the Rolls; others follow it up in Cadillacs or Continentals or whatever they happen to be driving that day. They sit and wait as if they were waiting for the Shah of Iran or Queen Elizabeth.
"Elvis parades out and gets in the back of the Rolls with comrades on either side. And they ride off in this caravan with still another look on their faces--like 'We have arrived!' The whole thing is like a satire on a singing star.
"Elvis adores making grand entrances, even onto the sound stage or from his dressing room. He's very narcissistic. He wears brightly colored shirts (I've never seen him in a coat and tie), unbuttoned low to show his chest. He doesn't have to play the prima donna with us. We are here merely to do a job, to work and make a living. One afternoon in particular, he came out in his yellow shirt and acted as if the whole world was waiting for him. We were just waiting to go home.
"And he's always competing with the leading ladies. He doesn't seem to want you to get serious with your work because he knows you're better trained than he. So he likes to break up all the time and throw the scene. He doesn't concentrate on what he's doing. He acts as though he cares, but he doesn't.
"Like his veneer of politeness," Marianna went on to explain. "Elvis is always going Yes, sir and No, sir, Yes ma'am and No, ma'am. He pretends to be humble, but I'm not sure he is. Underneath it all, there seems to be a lot of resentment and defensiveness and hostility.
"I also find Elvis to be non-professional. I never care about anybody turning up late. However, it's very difficult to work with people when they're not trying and not doing what they have to do. But the apathy on the set is quite discouraging.
"But Elvis is a show business phonomenon. He's a business commodity. Somewhere between LA and NY he sells a lot of records.
"Elvis does have a bag of tricks. Even if they're old, though. He has this physical thing-- this jumpy kind of thing-- that's often mistaked for something great coming across on the screen. At first glance you might think that it's warmth or depth. But it's not. It's some sort of nervous tic which, I think, is a result of surpressing impulses and having them come out physically.
"His eyes are always darting about. Very quickly. That's why I think Elvis is much like an animal. He reminds me of a kitten.
"Elvis has changed his image a lot. Remember when he was younger and really wild? That was great! But then he calmed down and got very GI and supposedly became very mature.
"I loved him when he was wild and crazy. Now it's like he's sold out to the enemy. Personally, I think the Colonel made the decision.
"I told Elvis I was in the audience in Los Angeles when he gave the concert during which he jumped on the RCA Victor dog. Remember? He did bumps and grinds. I asked him why he did it and what was he thinking. He said he didn't remember but laughed and said, 'The police almost got me that time.'
"Elvis doesn't talk about the things that are important to him. His mother or Priscilla. (Priscilla Beaulieu is the girl he met while stationed in Germany. Since, she's been a permanent house guest at Graceland in Memphis and the Bel Air mansion.) He never discusses what things mean to him. He speaks only of little things that don't matter. Like that fact that he once went on an all-pink kick. He wore nothing but pink and bought a bunch of pink cars.
"He says he reads a lot, but I don't know whether he does or not. I asked him if he was familiar with Catcher In The Rye and other well known books, but he didn't seem to have any knowledge of them.
"I asked Elvis if he'd like to do a play, to which he replied, 'I wouldn't want to learn all those words.' When I asked him how he spends his money, he told me that his father took care of that. I asked him if he had ever flown any girls around from place to place, and he said, 'I've been know to do that.'
"Elvis is not really interested in other people or their lives. He's too self-conscious and too self-involved. He thinks though that other people are very aware of him and he has to guard himself from them.
"I asked Elvis why he never went out. He answered, 'Because I get mobbed.'" A loud, unmistakably Marianna Hill-laugh came over the wire and she added, "Maybe he would-but not by me!"