Elvis Presley’s Granddaughter, Riley Keough, Says She ‘Started Crying Five Minutes’ Into New ‘Elvis’ Movie

by Megan Molseed

Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, Riley Keough was full of emotions while catching an early screening of Baz Luhrmann’s biopic based on her grandfather’s life. It was a moment, the actress reports, that moved her to tears.

The 2022 Cannes Film Festival Brings Some Emotional Moments For First-Time Director & Elvis Presley’s Granddaughter, Riley Keough

As the 2022 Cannes film festival gets underway, Riley Keough is facing some major moments. During this international event, the first time director is debuting her film War Pony with producing partner Gina Gammell. And now, she is also getting an emotional glimpse into her legacy, and the story behind one of the most influential people in her life, as she screens Baz Luhrmann’s biopic film Elvis during the event.

During a discussion with Variety, Keough reveals that she screened the biopic film with her mother, Lisa Marie Presley, and her grandmother, Priscilla Presley. And, the actress says, witnessing the family trauma as it was retold on the big screen brought her to tears.

“It was a very emotional experience,” the director and actress says of the film depicting the life of her famous grandfather and his life with her grandmother, Priscila. “It’s very intense to watch when it’s your family.”

It Is an ‘Honor’ For Baz Luhrmann to Be the One to Tell the Family Story

Keough notes that the fact that the emotional biopic film is a Baz Luhrmann production makes the production even more meaningful. She has long been inspired by the filmmaker’s works.

“The first movie I ever watched in the theater and said I wanted to make movies was Moulin Rouge,” Keough relates of the 2001 Baz Luhrmann-directed film. “I was 12.”

Keough explains how she was honored that the famous filmmaker was interested in her family’s story.

“It was a real honor to know Baz was doing this movie,” she explains.

Romeo + Juliet and Moulin  Rouge, for the age I was at the time, were really powerful,” Keough explains. “It wasn’t like I distrusted Baz in any way, but you’re protective over your family.”

Keough Remembers Inviting Filmmakers Into Their Private Lives

Riley Keough recalls sitting down with Luhrmann and her family hours before filming for Elvis got underway. They also gave the award-winning filmmaker inside access to the family’s estate, Graceland. However, the actress and director notes that the family felt comfortable with giving Luhrmann creative license over the emotional story.

“At the end of the day, we’re not going to tell Baz Luhrmann how to make a movie,” she explains. And, Keough explains, it all paid off. In fact, she could feel immediately the work Luhrmann and his team put into depicting the emotional journey her grandfather experienced before his tragic death.

“I started crying five minutes in and didn’t stop,” she remembers.

“There’s a lot of family trauma and generational trauma that started around then for our family,” Keough explains. “I felt honored they worked so hard to really get his essence, to feel his essence.”