07/31/2014 04:16 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What Was It Like to Work With Elvis Presley?

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Answer by Anthony "Tony" Lawrence, Writer and Producer, Elvis

What was it like to work with Elvis Presley?

It was a unique experience. When I first came on the sound stage and met him for the first time, he was like a mannequin. He was sitting there, so still. He had such black hair and white skin and I thought, "Wow, they have a mannequin that looks just like Elvis!" He got up, shook hands with me, and said "Nice to know you, Sir." He was just as polite and nice as he could be. We talked about a lot of different things.

He was interested in karate, which I had studied with Chuck Norris many years before. He was also interested in many of the books and writings I was involved in. He told me about his reading of Gibran's The Prophet. He told me certain things I had no idea I was going to use later.

I was even involved in his choreography with Kurt Russell. I did a lot of the things that he told me in the biography. I had to write in an annotated script, which meant you had to take note of where each thing came from in the margins (almost like a bibliography). At the time, it was one of the first biographies. The legal department didn't know how much could be done without being sued so they wanted to have every part of it locked down. It was a lot of Elvis.

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