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Elvis Presley’s Relatives All Cried After Seeing the New Biopic on His Life

Photo Credit: 1. Jason LaVeris / Getty Images 2. yassi / MovieStillsDB
Photo Credit: 1. Jason LaVeris / Getty Images 2. yassi / MovieStillsDB

The highly-anticipated Elvis Presley biopic is about to be released in theaters, and it seems it has received the stamp of approval from the King of Rock and Roll’s immediate family. In fact, Presley’s granddaughter, actress and director Riley Keough, recently admitted she cried while watching Austin Butler portray her late grandfather.

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in 'Elvis'
Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in Elvis, 2022. (Photo Credit: yassi / MovieStills DB)

Keough is Presley‘s oldest granddaughter, and is the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and her first husband, musician Danny Keough. Tragically, Keough’s younger brother, Benjamin Keough, died in July 2020.

Like her grandfather, Keough has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry. She has appeared in several major Hollywood films, including The Runaways (2010), Magic Mike (2011) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). In 2017, she starred in the first season of The Girlfriend Experience, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

She is currently set to star in the upcoming Amazon series Daisy Jones & The Six, which focuses on a rock band in the 1970s.

Riley Keough dressed in formal wear
Riley Keough during the 75th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. (Photo Credit: Edward Berthelot / Getty Images)

During this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Keough sat down with Variety‘s Women in Motion Panel, where she discussed Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. During this discussion, she revealed watching the biopic with her mother and grandmother was “a very emotional experience.”

Keough revealed that she started crying within the first five minutes of the film and didn’t stop until it was over:

“In the first five minutes, I could feel how much work Baz [Luhrmann] and Austin [Butler] put into trying to get it right. It made me emotional immediately. I started crying five minutes in and didn’t stop. There’s a lot of family trauma and generational trauma that started around then for our family. I felt honored they worked so hard to really get his essence, to feel his essence. Austin captured that so beautifully.”

Austin Butler and Olivia DeJonge in a publicity shot for 'Elvis'
Austin Butler as Elvis Presley and Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla Presley in a publicity shot for Elvis, 2022. (Photo Credit: yassi / MovieStills DB)

Despite physically resembling Keough’s grandmother, Priscilla Presley, Luhrmann did not ask her to star in the film. Even if he had wanted Keough in Elvis, she had no interest in acting in it, telling Variety, “It’s a little too close. It’s intense enough to watch, I don’t want to act in it. It was never a conversation. I think there was a boundary there that felt respected in a nice way.”

Both Lisa Marie and Priscilla also gave Elvis glowing reviews. Earlier this month, Priscilla took to Instagram to show her support, writing:

“I’ve seen Elvis the film, I watched the trailer over a dozen times. But the words I heard from my daughter on how much she loved the film and that Riley will love it too when she sees it brought tears. I relived every moment in this film. It took me a few days to overcome the emotions as it did with Lisa. Beautifully done Baz, Tom, Austin and Olivia.”

Butler and Priscilla walked the Met Gala red carpet together earlier this month.

Austin Butler and Priscilla Presley at the 2022 Met Gala
Austin Butler and Priscilla Presley attend the 2022 Met Gala in New York City. (Photo Credit: Gotham / Getty Images)

Lisa Marie also showed her support for the upcoming movie and Butler’s performance. In a series of tweets, she called the biopic “nothing short of spectacular,” writing: “In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully.” She joked, “If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot.”

Lisa Marie added she was especially moved watching her three daughters afterward, writing: “What moved me to tears as well was watching Riley and Harper and Finley afterwards, all 3 visibly overwhelmed in the best possible way, and so filled with pride about their grandfather and his legacy in a way that I have not previously experienced.”

More from us: Casey Kasem’s Death and Burial Cast a Shadow Over the Radio Host’s Storied Career

Elvis covers 20 years of the late singer’s life, including his rise to fame and stardom against America’s ever-changing social, political and cultural climate.

Madeline Hiltz

Maddy Hiltz is someone who loves all things history. She received her Bachelors of Arts in history and her Master’s of Arts degree in history both from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. Her thesis examined menstrual education in Victorian England. She is passionate about Princess Diana, the Titanic, the Romanovs, and Egypt amongst other things.

In her spare time, Maddy loves playing volleyball, running, walking, and biking, although when she wants to be lazy she loves to read a good thriller. She loves spending quality time with her friends, family, and puppy Luna!