Kurt Russell on kicking Elvis in the shins on set of his first movie | Films | Entertainment
Kurt Russell was just 11 when he had the opportunity to act in his first movie opposite Elvis Presley himself in 1963’s It Happened At The World’s Fair. In the storyline, The King’s character wanted to see a nurse he fancied so asked the young lad who the future star was playing to kick him in the shins. Later on in the movie Kurt’s character came across Elvis’ Mike Edwards with Joan O’Brien’s nurse and asked if he wanted another kick for a quarter, blowing his cover. During filming, he had to kick Elvis in the shins around 15 times, so the music icon had to wear a pad, but it turns out he really trusted the young Kurt.
Speaking previously with GQ, Kurt said: “One time I got close to the edge of it and he looked at me, because he really trusted me, and went ‘Stay on the pad.’ What a nice guy he was. Yeah. He was 27 years old. He was really cool. An incredibly nice guy.”
The two filmed for a couple of weeks together and would play catch and chat about baseball. It also turns out that Elvis wanted to speak with Kurt’s father Bing Russell, a film actor, who had featured in The Magnificent Seven. The King had seen Bing on the big screen and had a particularly sincere question for him.
Kurt, who also went on to voice Elvis in Forrest Gump, remembered: “I’m telling you, God’s honest truth, thirty seconds later, he was Elvis. What I realised about that was, which I drew on later on, he was living it.
“He was just doing what he was doing, and had gone to the ‘oh, f*** it’ state, and he was fantastic. He knew it didn’t matter if he weighed a thousand pounds. The performance, it made it sort of even better. He was moving into a different zone, and becoming like Pavarotti, or something.”