ELVIS SHOULD KNOWIt took some coaching by Elvis Presley, but five-year-old Robert Kenui Pope overcame a life-long aversion to girls to make his screen debut in "Blue Hawaii."
Auditioning children for a sequence in the Paramount release, in which a pair of small fry join Elvis and Miss Blackman on the beach, Producer Wallis and Director Norman Taurog told Robert they wanted him to hold hands with his partner, Debra Kawamura, age four.
"I don't think I want to be an actor," Robert demurred. "They didn't tell me it was a sissy part."
Since he looked just right for the role, Elvis intervened at this point, explained to Robert that the actors are frequently called upon to do scenes they don't particularly relish!
"O.K.,” Robert told him finally. "I'll try it if you say so." Whereupon he did the scene perfectly and got the part, and subsequently confided to Elvis a bit of wisdom some men take years to learn.
"I guess," Robert told Elvis man-to-man, "that people just have to get used to girls."
Elvis Monthly July 1961