I was familiar with this world: Riley Keough on tapping into her musical roots for ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’

New Delhi, Mar 14 (PTI) Hollywood star Riley Keough, known for her performance in movies such as “Magic Mike” and “Mad Max: Fury Road”, says she channelled her childhood memories of growing up around musicians to play a rock singer in “Daisy Jones & The Six”.

Keough, who essays the troubled yet charismatic lead singer Daisy Jones in the show, is the granddaughter of Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll. She is the eldest child of late singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley and musician Danny Keough. “It’s a world that I was familiar with in terms of like I’ve been on tour a bunch of times, I’ve slept on a bus and I’ve witnessed all of that…

“I grew up listening to all kinds of music, certainly rock and roll, hip hop and jazz. My dad loved jazz music, so my whole family were musicians. Music was definitely very much a part of my childhood and upbringing,” Keough told PTI in a virtual interview.

The 33-year-old actor said while she was familiar with the world, it was for the first time she saw how an album is recorded in a studio.

“I’d never really experienced it for myself. So it was a whole kind of learning experience for me. But yeah, I certainly had more familiarity with the world than maybe other people who didn’t have a whole family of musicians.” The Prime Video series, based on author Taylor Jenkins Reid’s 2019 novel, chronicles the rise and fall of the fictional titular rock band in the late 1970s. It is about Daisy as she navigates the ’70s-rock scene and joins the fictional band The Six, led by Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin).

The show then follows the two lead singers, alongside the rest of their bandmates and Billy’s girlfriend Camila, navigate interpersonal conflicts, musical conflicts and drug abuse.

Keough said she solely relied on Reid’s book to come up with her performance.

But there were moments when she watched how musicians from the ’70s would behave in public to get her body-language right for the character.

“I watched a lot of performances from the seventies, a lot of interview footage mostly to make the movements and the physicality feel period. Because the way I move is probably very modern… So a lot of it for me was to watch the physicality on stage and offstage. And also to hear the dialect to make sure that I never sounded too modern when I was talking.

“So I mean, I watched Cher, I watched Joni Mitchell, I watched Linda Ronstadt, I watched Emmylou Harris, anything I could find on YouTube. I really just would go down rabbit holes and watch hundreds of videos,” she said.

As an artist, Keough said she could really resonate with the struggles of her character, who is constantly underestimated by the industry as well as those around her in the show.

“Being a woman and a young woman in my life, this was something I experienced often, especially in the workspace or in my art, where I was constantly feeling a sense of not being taken seriously. Feeling like you constantly have to prove yourself or prove that you deserve the seat at the table.” Not being taken seriously is something that is prevalent in the modern world as well, she added.

“There’s a line actually in the show where Daisy says ‘when enough people tell you you’re s***, you start to believe them.’ And I really think there’s truth in that and it’s a really difficult thing to overcome. The only thing you can really do is believe in yourself and develop some kind of, I don’t know, shell to… the world and whatever’s being projected on you.” At the time of its release, Reid’s book was praised for the way it captured the glory and catastrophe of American celebrity, constantly under media scrutiny and easy victim of the drug menace.

Being a modern celebrity, Keough believes things have changed in terms of press and celebrity’s relationship.

“It’s headed in a sort of less aggressive place. I think historically, the press has been really hard on celebrities. But there’s a kindness that I think is happening currently… I remember being young and the articles I would see would be much more aggressive than they are now. I watched a clip on Instagram of women being interviewed on late night shows from 2007 or something, and the questions they were asked were so inappropriate and awful.

“And I think that there’s an awareness now that you can’t do that. I think that feels positive. They are in the right direction.” Created by Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber, “Daisy Jones & The Six” also stars Camila Morrone, Will Harrison, Suki Waterhouse, Josh Whitehouse, Sebastian Chacon, Nabiyah Be and Tom Wright with a special guest appearance by Timothy Olyphant.

The series, produced by Amazon Studios and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, is currently streaming on Prime Video with new episodes releasing every Friday through March 24.

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