Baz Luhrmann’s new biopic “Elvis” will certainly prove to be emotional for the late King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s millions of fans, and was even more so for his granddaughter, actress Riley Keough.
Keough, speaking with Variety about her directorial debut “War Pony” at the Cannes Film Festival, revealed she watched the film — which stars Austin Butler as Elvis Presley — alongside mom Lisa Marie Presley and grandmother Priscilla Presley.
“It was a very emotional experience. It’s very intense to watch when it’s your family,” Keough admitted.
“The first movie I ever watched in the theatre and said I wanted to make movies was ‘Moulin Rouge’, I was 12. It was a real honour 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,” she continued.
“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,” she added. “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 honoured they worked so hard to really get his essence, to feel his essence. Austin captured that so beautifully.”
Asked if she would have appeared in the film had she been approached, Keough said she was happy to keep an arms-length distance.
“It’s a little too close. It’s intense enough to watch, I don’t want to act in it,” she shared. “It was never a conversation. I think there was a boundary there that felt respected in a nice way.”
“Elvis” hits theatres on June 24.