Riley Keough Reacts to Elvis Movie, Ahead of New Trailer Debut

While the rest of the world will have to wait until June 24 to see Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” biopic, the legendary musician’s famous family has already screened it — and given their stamp of approval.

Though both Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley have spoken out with their reactions, Variety got a bit more from Riley Keough — Lisa’s daughter and Elvis’ granddaughter — over the weekend in France, ahead of the Cannes premiere this week. She revealed she actually watched it with both her mother and grandmother, calling it a “very emotional experience.”

“It’s very intense to watch when it’s your family,” said Keough, who added that Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge” was the first movie she ever saw in movie theaters as a kid. “It wasn’t like I distrusted Baz in any way, but you’re protective over your family.”

“In the first five minutes, I could feel how much work Baz and [star Austin Butler] put into trying to get it right. That made me emotional immediately,” she continued. “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.”

The “Zola” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” actress said that she was never approached about possibly appearing in the film herself.

“It’s a little too close,” she aded. “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.”

Watch the new trailer for the film below:

Speaking about the film last week, Keough’s mother Lisa Marie first noted that she’s been silent as of late on social media following the death of her son, Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in July 2020 at 27 years old.

“I do want to take a moment to let you know that I have seen Baz Luhrmann’s movie ‘Elvis’ twice now, and let me tell you that it is nothing short of spectacular. Absolutely exquisite. Austin Butler channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully,” she wrote. “In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully. (If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot, haha.)”

“What moved me to tears as well was watching [children] Riley and Harper, and Finley afterwards, all 3 visibly overwhelmed in the best way possible way, and so filled with pride about their grandfather and his legacy in a way that I have not previously experienced,” she wrote.

“It breaks my heart that my son isn’t here to see it. He would have absolutely loved it as well,” she added of Benjamin. “I can’t tell you enough how much I love this film and I hope you love it too. Everyone involved poured their hearts and souls into it, which is evidenced in their performances.”

She concluded her thoughts with a message for the director. “Baz, your utter genius combined with your love and respect for my father and this project is just so beautiful and so inspiring,” she wrote, acknowledging, “I know I’m being repetitive, but I don’t care, Thank you for setting the record straight in such a deeply profound and artistic way.”

Priscilla, meanwhile, said it “brought tears” hearing how much Lisa Marie “loved the film.” She added, “I relived every moment in this film. It took me a few days to overcome the emotions as it did with Lisa. Beautifully done.”

“Elvis” hits theaters June 24, 2022.

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