It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for actress Riley Keough, a ride that has resulted in her shedding tears of joy. Not only did her first film as co-director, War Pony, make its debut at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday to a rousing ovation, but it came just days before Baz Luhrmann’s new film about her grandfather, Elvis Presley, is set to make its premiere at Cannes.
The festival’s director Thierry Fremaux maintains that the two Cannes debuts, and its connection to the family of Elvis Presley, weren’t contrived and that it just came down to being a ‘happy coincidence,’ according to report.
It turns out, Keough couldn’t be happier with the outcomes of both War Pony and Elvis. Decked out in a black blazer, matching shorts and Dior heels for the screening, the 32-year-old actress and director confessed to be ‘in shock’ over the movie being shown at the festival.
‘We’re really just grateful to be here,’ the Santa Monica native said, while speaking on behalf of the cast and crew. ‘This was a collaboration between all of us, and this is all of our film.’
Sharing the directorial duties with fellow first-timer Gina Gammell, War Pony follows the plight of Native Americans, and in particular a 23-year-old Oglala-Lakota native growing up on a reservation, all while always trying to find his next hustle. Once the credits for War Pony began to roll at the end of the screening, the audience proceeded to give a rousing applause that last six minutes.
Keough got emotional over the positive response, much like she did when she watched the new Elvis biopic with her mother and grandmother. In fact, all three ladies shed tears as they watched part of their family history play out on screen, with Austin Butler playing the legendary rocker from Memphis, Tennessee.
‘It was a very emotional experience. It’s very intense to watch when it’s your family,’ Keough said, before reveal how she’s been a fan of Baz Luhrmann ever since watched Moulin Rouge as a 12-year-old. The musical romantic drama film actually inspired Keough to want to ‘make movies’ as a profession.
Luhrmann consulted with the family before he started shooting the film, which also stars Tom Hanks as Elvis’ late manager Colonel Tom Parker.‘It wasn’t like I distrusted Baz in any way, but you’re protective over your family,’ the
What sets this latest Elvis movie apart from the rest is that it focuses on the Jailhouse Rock star’s relationship with Parker, who was found to have engaged in unethical management practices by a judge in 1980, as reported by Smooth Radio.
‘In the first five minutes, I could feel how much work Baz and Austin [Butler] put into trying to get it right. That made me emotional immediately,’ the Mad Max: Fury Road actress told Variety. ‘I started crying five minutes in and didn’t stop.’ After the Elvis biopic makes its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, it will hit theaters in the U.S. on June 24, 2022, and then drop on HBO Max 45 days later.