The wonder of Riley Keough

The granddaughter of Elvis Presley is taking over from Sasha Grey on The Girlfriend Experience.

Riley Keough in The Girlfriend Experience
The new Sasha Grey Riley Keough leads the cast of Girlfriend Experience's TV spinoff. Image Picture Starz

Remember The Girlfriend Experience? Well, the 2009 Steven Soderbergh movie that brought porn star Sasha Grey into the mainstream is coming back – this time as a TV series.

Grey won’t be reprising her role as the high-end call, instead handing the part of Christine Reade over to rising star Riley Keough. The name may not ring a bell, but Keough could well be climbing the Hollywood ladder when The Girlfriend Experience debuts on Starz this February.

She also happens to be one of the more interesting young actors doing the rounds at the moment, as evidenced by these five quick-fire facts.


She’s the granddaughter of Elvis Presley

Keough is the daughter of musician Danny Keough and Lisa Marie Presley. At one time or another she even had Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage as stepdads. Her upbringing is a frequent topic of discussion, but Keough says it all felt “normal because I didn’t know any different”. She told The Hollywood Reporter: “As I’ve gotten older, I’m like, ‘Wow.’ Honestly, I think it’s because people draw it to my attention all the time.”


She got her start in modelling

Keough got her start in showbiz early, featuring on the cover of Vogue with her mother and grandmother when when was just 15. She was also briefly a runway model for Dolce & Gabbana before switching to acting.


Music is her true passion

Riley Keough at the Mad Max: Fury Road premiere
Life of Riley Riley Keough at the Mad Max: Fury Road premiere. Image Picture Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Growing up in the Presley family, Keough quickly latched onto music and it remains her passion to this day. “I grew up completely around it and I think it’s one of the most important things to me, but at this point I can’t see myself doing that professionally,” she said. “Luckily, for the most part, I don’t feel pressured.” This rolled into her film work: her screen debut was as Cherie Currie’s sister Marie in biopic The Runaways.


She’s married to her Mad Max co-star

Keough played one of the runaway brides in last year’s Mad Max: Fury Road and later married one of the film’s stuntmen Ben Smith-Petersen. You’ll recognise him as the film’s cult character the Doof Warrior, the flame-throwing guitarist who spawned a thousand internet memes.


She won’t hold back in The Girlfriend Experience

“I don’t want to show the men in my family this show,” Keough said of her latest role. She also researched the world of escorts thoroughly, regularly Skyping with a woman who worked in the field who has “no emotional connection” to sex. “What this show portrays that is really important is that this is a woman who likes sex, without guilt and without shame,” added director Lodge Kerrigan. “She’s a sexual person.”

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