Photoshoots // Riley Keough Network

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Photoshoots > 2016 > V Magazine – “Stars of Sundance” Issue by Charlie Engman



Riley Keough is no child star. On the contrary, the choices the 27-year-old makes—like the ones to star opposite Jena Malone in So Yong Kim’s Lovesong or in Starz’s The Girlfriend Experience, executive-produced by Steven Soderbergh—are clearly her own. She’d developed a relationship with Kim after Kim directed their collaborative short for Miu Miu’s “Women’s Tales” series, while she’d met Soderbergh when he directed her in Magic Mike. The daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and Danny Keough (yes, that means her stepfathers included Michael Jackson and Nicholas Cage), Riley has had the luxury of seeing superstardom from so close up, she can’t help but handle her own career with discretion and poise: a modeling gig here, small but powerful performances in The Runaways and Mad Max: Fury Road there. It’s a steep climb, but Keough is determined to be in control of her image—and to make her name all her own.

In fact, in both Lovesong and the aforementioned 13-episode series, her characters are in constant fear of giving away too much of their selves. In other words, for both projects, restraint from Keough was tantamount. “They definitely are both naturalistic in tone,” she says, of her two Sundance premieres. “I do tend to enjoy working with directors who like that aesthetic.”

The TV show, written and directed by Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan, happens to share the name of Soderbergh’s 2009 film, which starred Sasha Grey as an escort named Christine, but who goes by Chelsea. A few years back, Soderbergh expressed to Keough that he was interested in exploring GFE (as Keough calls it) further, but from someone else’s angle. “I guess, for whatever reason, he thought I’d play [Christine/Chelsea] well,” says Keough. “He had Lodge and Amy meet me to make sure I wasn’t crazy or whatever and we all got along. He’d picked them to direct the show. I think they got some notes from him, but Steven basically put together a group of people and let us go do our thing.”

To be clear, Starz’s GFE isn’t quite the same story as Soderbergh’s, and Christine isn’t the same character. “The shared name is sort of a cheeky thing,” says Keough. “The show wasn’t based on the film, it just has the same subject matter.” For a television debut, that subject matter would scare some, but Keough insists that playing an escort wasn’t what made her second-guess signing on. “I was definitely nervous. I had never done TV before. I’d heard that you get to set and you have to do everything very robotically. I was nervous about the freedom to have opinions about things because I am…opinionated,” she laughs. The rumors, she assures, in this case weren’t true, but those nerves may have come in handy for a provocative performance. “I definitely don’t have a problem doing sex scenes, but I tend to like to do things that initially make me feel a bit nervous. I don’t think you can really grow at any job unless you do things that freak you out. And I’m sure GFE will make people uncomfortable, but I have fun doing that.”


The Wrap published 6 new portrait pictures of Riley from ‘The Girlfriend Experience’ Panel back in January.

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Photoshoots > 2016 > January 8 – The Wrap for ‘The Girlfriend Experience’ – Portraits by Robby Klein

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Photoshoots > 2016 > FLAUNT Magazine – The Secrets Issue (April)

Riley Keough and I meet initially at Joan’s On Third but it’s a madhouse, loud and busy with nowhere to sit, so we walk a few doors down to a vacant café, appropriately dubbed Simplethings. I wouldn’t have made the budding, unassuming movie star if not for the strange, remnant eye makeup from the photoshoot that just wrapped. Really, she’s just another 26-year-old Angeleno (I don’t have to remind you who her grandfather was) longing for a place in Atwater Village. “I’d never thought I’d live in this part of town, but so many of my friends do.”

Amid the honking cars and chatty pedestrians, she candidly takes my phone and places it down in front of her, explaining that she tends to speak very quietly. “Doing interviews makes me so sick of myself. I hate talking about myself, but I have to.” The world must be going by at light speed for Keough. She’s just returned from Sundance for two different projects: Lovesong with Jena Malone, and The Girlfriend Experience, a serialized redux of Steven Soderbergh’s experimental film of the same name. Her acting career so far has gone through a relatively gentle acceleration, beginning with her portrayal of Marie Currie in The Runaways (2010), before making waves as downtrodden protagonists in Magic Mike (2012), and last year’s epic Mad Max (2015). Now, with the highly-anticipated and not-so lo-fi The Girlfriend Experience, Keough’s likely to make a more controversial splash courtesy of her character Christine Reade—a law student who decides to supplement her income via transactional relationships with older, wealthy men.

Tell me about transitioning from Lovesong to your character in The Girlfriend Experience.

It’s funny that Lovesong came out at the same time as the show. I shot Lovesong maybe a year before. Those definitely weren’t characters that overlapped. What I really liked about GFE was that the role is not your average female lead, and she’s not extremely likable. We were trying to do something new that gets a reaction out of people, whether that’s good or bad, and we know the topic [escorting] can be whatever it is to people, but the topic wasn’t the point of the show, it was more about Christine engaging in this enterprise, rather than coming from a ‘bad background’ or some kind of oppression. It’s not a sad story. It was more of a character study for me, and Christine’s job, both in law and in escorting, is a part of that. It tells a lot about her.

Were you hesitant to take on the role?

I was definitely nervous about some things. But once I talked to Amy [Seimetz] and Lodge [Kerrigan] and trusted them, we all had the same idea about her and the show, and it was really exciting. It just gets weirder and weirder. And a bit creepy. The ending is extremely out there. I don’t want to say too much, but I think it’s really funny how the season ends.

So it’s weird, creepy—and funny?

I think it’s hilarious. I was laughing the whole time, but I don’t know if that’ll be people’s response.

I was talking about this with Soderbergh, I think people will have a lot of different responses, be it angry, annoyed, frustrated, interested or whatever. There was no real goal in what people were going to feel. We just wanted to present this story in a sort of voyeuristic way without swaying the audience in any direction. You’re just watching this girl and you feel kind of uneasy… You’re watching this girl making these dubious decisions and getting herself into difficult situations, but her own morals never waiver, which is what I love about the character. She’s always ‘right.’ She never doubts—well, I don’t know if she does or not, that’s up to the audience to decide, but she believes in what she does and does it the best she can.

How do you feel about L.A. being so coveted at the moment?

I was always behind L.A. Even when the sentiment was: I hate L.A., New York’s got so much culture. I was always like, no fuck that! L.A. is dope. Live here, be from here, and you’d see. I love the culture by the beach, I love the culture on the east side, I love the telephone wires, the palm trees, the Hispanic influence everywhere and the taco stands. I love the history in Laurel Canyon and Venice. I love the Valley—especially the Valley in the ’70s.

Beer or yoga?

I was very into yoga for a minute. Then I got very into beer. [laughs] I just love doing stuff outside; hiking, swimming, anything. I’d rather do anything outside than run on a treadmill while watching TV. Let’s be real, though, I haven’t worked out in like six months.

Do you get into the alien phenomenon at all?

I love aliens. If I could make any one thing happen in my lifetime, it would be for aliens to come here. Everyone’s so scared of it. I talk to my husband and he’s terrified of the idea, and I find it so exciting. The idea that there’s something else, besides just this. I mean, who’s to say? Maybe they’ll kill everybody, I don’t know. At least there’s something else—something other than Joan’s on Third.


Here is a first look for Riley’s appearance in ‘The Secrets Issue’ of FLAUNT Magazine. Thanks to We Love Riley Keough via Tumblr.

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Photoshoots > 2016 > FLAUNT Magazine – The Secrets Issue (April)

We have 12 new/old portrait pictures of Riley from Sundance 2016 for the ‘Lovesong’ promotion.

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Photoshoots > 2016 > January 24 – Lovesong at Sundance Film Festival 2016 – Day 3 – Portrait

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Spring’s most compelling television series finds a star who’s equally captivating.

Walking into a hotel bar, Riley Keough can spot the girlfriend experience almost immediately. “I’ll see a girl and I’ll know she’s giving the GFE,” the 26-year-old actress says, referring to a service sex workers offer that’s based more on emotional intimacy than other, more traditional options. “My education on the subject has been really thorough.”

It had to be, considering Keough’s debut television role as the star of The Girlfriend Experience, a new series on Starz that follows Christine, a law student who moonlights in the world’s oldest profession. But this is no moralizing tale of a woman whose virtue is saved by a john with a heart of gold. “We wanted to tell a story about a girl who ends up with this kind of job, but without judging her,” she says. “This is someone who ended up doing sex work, but who didn’t come from a bad family or experience some sort of trauma. Nobody is forcing her to do it.” 

Thanks to a remarkable turn from Keough, Christine’s self-assuredness and steely determination come through loud and clear. The actress, who cut her teeth as a model and has appeared in films including Magic Mike and Mad Max: Fury Road, anchors nearly every scene in the series and puts her formidable talent and striking good looks—she’s a ringer, it should be noted, for mom Lisa Marie Presley—to undeniably good use.

“This role is a game changer for Riley,” says Steven Soderbergh, who created the series. “It’s an incredible performance. It’s as good as anything I’ve seen an actor do—and I’ve been a witness to some wonderful performances. People are going to be stunned by what she does in this series and the range that she shows.”

While that range certainly includes some risqué content, Keough says any struggle with filming racy scenes was overcome quickly. “It’s a bit weird the first time, but by the time we were finished, it was so normal,” she says. “I would have to make the guys that I was working with comfortable, telling them, ‘I do this every day, don’t be nervous.’ ”

That sense of professionalism should serve her well in the coming months, as she’ll be appearing in films including Lovesong and American Honey, directing a handful of music videos and taking a turn at writing her own screenplay, albeit one she’s hesitant to explain much about. And that’s just what’s happening right now. “I get bored really easily,” she says. “That’s why I’m always doing 20 things at once.”

Luckily, the challenges The Girlfriend Experience offered were enough to keep her occupied. “I had so much to do, and I had to do it all so quickly,” she recalls. “It was a lot of work, but I like pushing myself really hard. It was kind of a triumph, being able to walk away from it not having lost my mind.” 

In main image: Dress, $3,495, DEREK LAM, Shannon shoes, $655, CHURCH’S, In inset: Jacket, price upon request, EMPORIO ARMANI, Trousers, price upon request, ALTUZZARA, Shannon shoes, $655, CHURCH’S,
Stylist: Paul Frederick. Hair: Christopher Naselli at Starworks Artists. Makeup: Hung Vanngo using ck one Color Cosmetics at The Wall Group.


I’ve added 23 BTS pics of Riley’s cover photoshoot for NYLON Magazine. Enjoy!

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