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Wednesday
Mar 04 2020

Riley Keough is our queen!

byCláudio Alves

Nepotism is alive and thriving in modern Hollywood.Just look at the enviable careers of Margaret Qualley, Maya Hawke, Emma Roberts, Dakota Johnson, and more.Another name to add to that list would be Riley Keough, daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and Dany Keough.Naturally, she's also the granddaughter of none other than "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" himself, Elvis Presley.

Keough, like many current rising stars, was already born with a foot in the door and the benefit of her celebrity lineage in an otherwise tough business to break into.However, she has more than proven herself once inside.We'd go so far as to say that she's one of her generation's brightest rising stars, having shown excellence in a variety of tones, genres and acting styles across an already enviable young filmography...

Riley Keough made the jump to the big screen in 2010, appearing alongside Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart inThe Runaways.In that music biopic, she played the sister of Cherrie Curry, stealing a couple of scenes despite the small size of her role.She'd keep this status as a prime scene-stealer, mostly doing supporting work and only very rarely getting a chance to lead a film.It was in a supporting role that she got her big break in 2015, as one of Immortan Joe's Wives in the bombasticMad Max: Fury Road.

George Miller's action epic helped make Keough a recognizable face for many cinephiles.Still, it was the efforts of Andrea Arnold and the marvelousAmerican Honeythat truly revealed Keough's sterling capabilities as an actress.In the role of Krystall, the leader of a group of misfit youths, she exudes authoritative power shaded by indolent spitefulness.She dazzles and sneers, absolutely naturalistic while exuding the charisma of a consummate star.When she's onscreen, it's impossible to take your eyes away from her callous character.

Since 2016, she's never stopped surprising us with daring new performances, both on TV and the big screen.Steven Soderbergh has been particularly good at exploring Keough's tonal flexibility.He producedThe Girlfriend Experienceseries, where Keough had a leading role and knocked it out of the park.Then he directed her inLogan Lucky, allowing the actress to have fun in a comedic role.She does that and more, slyly stealing the movie from the hands of her more famous costars with startling ease.

Nothing as of yet has been too big a challenge for Riley Keough, neither the psychological nightmares ofIt Comes at Night, the romance ofLovesong,or the deliberate vacuity ofUnder the Silver Lake.Keough was even able to inject searing humanity into the grotesque spectacle ofThe House That Jack Built.This year, she dazzled Sundance with her performance in Janicza Bravo'sZolaand showed us all she has the chops to be a great scream queen with her work inThe Lodge.In that horror flick, she carries the perverse plot of writer/directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz to its tragic extremes, fleshing out its despair and helplessness with visceral impact.

Whether making us laugh or falling apart in convulsions of religious fanaticism, Riley Keough is a fascinating screen presence.Nepotism or no nepotism, Riley Keough deserves to be celebrated.

What's your favorite performance of this rising star and why?

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Reader Comments (7)

Truly one of the most exciting young actresses today.Her performance in the first season of "The Girlfriend Experience" is so layered and fearless, it's a shame it got so little recognition when it first came out (despite that Globe nod).She has been extremely consistant since and has yet to disappoint.I'm really looking forward to what's coming next - and "The Lodge" sounds very promising.

March 4, 2020 | Unregistered CommenterFrenchToast

She "dazzles" is right.Which may be why, though she can certainly carry a lead role, it's more supporting roles (like in Under the Silver Lake or Logan Lucky) where to me she is most memorable - she just hones and elevates the parts, fills that person out entirely, even when not the center of attention.I too am very much looking forward to seeing The Lodge.

March 4, 2020 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

I thought she was truly sensational in American Honey, that performance alone would make me interested in whatever she chooses to do.她绝对会被我2016 supporting actress ballot.

March 4, 2020 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

She was fascinating in a tricky role in The Girlfriend Experience.Disturbing and memorable.
I will also remember her screaming in It Comes At Night for a long time.

March 4, 2020 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

Margaret Qualley, Maya Hawke, Emma Roberts, Dakota Johnson,Riley Keough

I don't think any of them have really wowed us yet,how much is talent and how much is who you know I'm not sure,a lot of the latter and not much of the former would be most peoples guess,Qualley might be the daughter of Andie M but most would say Andie is not a great actress,Dakota's mother was on fire in the 80's but has wasted so many chances Dakota is fine but editing helps a lot of these actresses/actors.

March 4, 2020 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I did not know her status as Presley kin.I think, in the roles I have seen.
Seen her in, she has potential.

March 4, 2020 | Unregistered CommenterRdf

Margaret Qualley, Maya Hawke, Emma Roberts, Dakota Johnson, Riley Keough, Lily Rose Depp and the dozens of their ilk, with plenty equivalents on the boys' side too

All of them - every single one of them - is inferior to approximately 7804 girls that can't get an audition cause mommy and daddy aren't famous.Just think of all the superior performances we're all missing out on because of nepotism....

(Though okay, I'll def admit Keough is actually leagues and leagues above these other names - she was fantastic in American Honey - so I'll grant that yes, maybe she would've got through on talent alone)

On a related note: I finally caught Waves just yesterday - and though the film has massive massive problems - it also has Taylor Russell.I bet *she* doesn't have a famous mommy or daddy.That performance could only be achieved when casting directors are forced to think well outside the nepotism box and actually start considering actors based on talent and merit.

If only more filmmakers and casting directors were willing to champion the Taylor Russells of the world over the Margaret Qualleys (she's adequate.I'm sorry.No more than that.With direction and editing, a million girls can deliver the base level that she does)

March 4, 2020 | Unregistered Commentervigo

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