Elvis Biopic Draws High Praise from Iconic Singer’s Granddaughter Riley Keough

Posted 2022/05/21 7 0

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Riley Keough says Baz Luhrmann and Austin Butler captured the essence of her late grandfather so well that she cried throughout the whole film.

The family of rock ‘n roll icon Elvis Presley couldn’t have been more impressed by Elvis, the new biopic from filmmaker Baz Luhrmann. Featuring Austin Butler in the titular role, the film chronicles Presley’s rise to fame with the help of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). Its early reviews have been quite strong and there is even some Oscar buzz already floating around for Luhrmann and Butler.

The Elvis team also has the full support of Presley’s family after they were treated to advance screenings of the film. Presley’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, along with their daughter Lisa Marie Presley and granddaughter Riley Keough, were all left stunned by what they saw. Per Variety, Keough spoke out more about how it felt to watch Luhrmann and Butler telling her late grandfather’s story. She describes the experience as highly emotional with an added layer of surreality as she was already a big Luhrmann fan.

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“It was a very emotional experience. It’s very intense to watch when it’s your family. The first movie I ever watched in the theater and said I wanted to make movies was Moulin Rouge, I was 12. It was a real honor to know Baz was doing this movie.‘Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge, for the age I was at the time, were really powerful. It wasn’t like I distrusted Baz in any way, but you’re protective over your family.”

While Luhrmann did meet with the family and tour Graceland before shooting, Keough and Presley’s other relatives were not creatively involved with the film. Keough says they had no interest in “telling Baz Luhrmann how to make a movie,” leaving that part of the project up to him. With that said, the Presley family was impressed by how well Luhrmann and Butler captured the “Blue Suede Shoes” singer’s essence. It was so convincing that Keough found herself sobbing pretty early into the film and never stopped until the credits rolled.

“In the first five minutes, I could feel how much work Baz and Austin put into trying to get it right. That made me emotional immediately. I started crying five minutes in and didn’t stop. There’s a lot of family trauma and generational trauma that started around then for our family. I felt honored they worked so hard to really get his essence, to feel his essence. Austin captured that so beautifully.”

Elvis Was Hard to Watch for the Late Singer’s Family

A performer just like her famous grandfather, Riley Keough has recently appeared in films like The Lodge, Zola, and The Devil All the Time. She can also be seen co-starring with Chris Pratt in the upcoming series The Terminal List and will play the titular character in the miniseries Daisy Jones & The Six, both at Prime Video. But that doesn’t mean she would have wanted to have a role in Elvis, as watching the film was difficult enough as it was.

“It’s a little too close. It’s intense enough to watch, I don’t want to act in it. It was never a conversation. I think there was a boundary there that felt respected in a nice way.”

Elvis will be released in movie theaters on June 24, 2022.


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