In “Elvis & Nixon,” Johnny Knoxville doesn’t play The King but he gets close enough: He plays Sonny West, part of his so-called “Memphis Mafia,” as he joins Michael Shannon’s Elvis on one of the stranger (but probably not the strangest) story of his career: the time he went to the White House and demanded a meeting with Richard Nixon (played by Kevin Spacey), in which he offered to become a federal agent and spy, in disguise, on groups like the SDS and the Black Panthers. It’s a stranger-than-fiction tale even the “Jackass” legend, now 45, can’t believe is real.
I don’t want to just assume you're a massive Elvis fan, but that’s probably a stupid thing to think.
I’m from Tennessee. Elvis was obviously Elvis, but in Tennessee he was even bigger, if that’s possible. My sisters were eight and 10 years old, and they were huge Elvis fans. I just grew up that way.
Playing one of his posse is close enough to playing Elvis, I’d guess.
I’m almost sleeping with him. I’ve almost slept with him by doing this.
We don’t always talk about Elvis’ movies, some of which are interesting. I’m a fan of “Flaming Star,” which is a Don Siegel Western with a token two Elvis songs.
I haven’t seen that one. It’s crazy to think he was doing three movies a year, plus the music for those movies. Colonel Parker had him on quite a schedule.
They can get pretty weird. One of them, “Change of Habit” from 1969, pairs him with Mary Tyler Moore as a nun.
If you’re making three movies a year you gotta come up with something. Mary Tyler as a nun: Poof! I love it.
I like that Michael Shannon’s not doing the usual Elvis impersonation. He’s almost closer to himself.
It’s an Elvis no one’s ever seen before. Michael Shannon is one of if not the best actor of his generation. When he and Kevin Spacey would go at it, it was like watching Ali and Frazier, if Ali and Frazier were helping each other instead of hitting each other. It was tough to stay in character because I was so excited by what they were dong.