Casting “Magic Mike,” Steven Soderbergh saw an audition tape for then-22-year-old model-actress Riley Keough—whose genetic blessings from grandfather Elvis Presley and mother Lisa Marie are self evident—and hired her sight unseen for a small role as stripper Nora, where she learned all about “underwear and spray tans,” she told me in our video interview. She first met Soderbergh at a “Magic Mike” staff dinner with her co-stars Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and her romantic interest Alex Pettyfer, to whom she was briefly engaged.
Five years later, “The Girlfriend Experience” producer Soderbergh cast Keough to carry the 13-part Starz half-hour series “The Girlfriend Experience,” now adapted from his 2009 film by indie writer-directors, Amy Seimetz (“Sun Don’t Shine”) and Lodge Kerrigan (“Claire Dolan”). Reviews and Emmy buzzare strong.
Keough had some discomfort after reading the first four scripts about the high-end sex worker —”I was projecting my own views, judgments, and morals onto this person, they weren’t giving a lot to me, but I was rooting for her”— but she agreed to portray Christine Reade, a whip-smart law student and intern at a New York law firm who follows her best friend (Seimetz fave Kate Lyn Sheil) into the escort business.