Riley Keough Praises Austin Butler's Performance as Grandfather Elvis Presley: 'Didn't Stop' Crying

Riley Keough said she, mom Lisa Marie Presley and grandmother Priscilla Presley cried while watching Elvis, starring Austin Butler as Elvis Presley

Riley Keough; AUSTIN BUTLER as Elvis
Riley Keough; Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in Elvis (2022). Photo: Foc Kan/WireImage; Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Elvis brought up a lot of emotions for many members of Elvis Presley's family, including the music legend's granddaughter Riley Keough.

While speaking at the Variety Women in Motion panel during the Cannes Film Festival — where her directorial debut, War Pony, was being screened — the actress and filmmaker said "it was a very emotional experience" watching Elvis, starring Austin Butler as the iconic singer.

Keough, 32, added of the upcoming Baz Luhrmann film, which she watched with mom Lisa Marie Presley and grandmother Priscilla Presley, "It wasn't like I distrusted Baz in any way, but you're protective over your family."

She also shared that she was "emotional immediately," from the very beginning of the film, which is premiering at Cannes: "I started crying 5 minutes in and didn't stop."

"There's a lot of family trauma and generational trauma that started around then for our family," Keough continued. "I felt honored they worked so hard to really get his essence, to feel his essence. Austin captured that so beautifully."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.

AUSTIN BUTLER as Elvis in Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “ELVIS,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.; 044636 02: Singer Elvis Presley poses for a studio portrait. (Photo by Liaison)
Austin Butler in Elvis (2022); Elvis Presley. Warner Bros.; Liaison

Priscilla, 76, gave the film her seal of approval in an Instagram post earlier this month, saying Lisa Marie, 54, is thrilled with the way the drama, which focuses on Elvis and his relationship with his manager Colonel Parker, has turned out.

"I've seen Elvis the film, I watched the trailer over a dozen times," Priscilla began the caption of her post, alongside a trailer for the movie. "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."

Noting that she "relived every moment in this film," Priscilla continued, "it took me a few days to overcome the emotions as it did with Lisa."

She also extended her praise to director Luhrmann, 59, as well as the film's stars — including Tom Hanks, who portrays Parker, and Butler, 30, as well as Olivia DeJonge, who portrays Priscilla herself — calling the project "beautifully done."

RELATED VIDEO: Lisa Marie Presley Shares Sweet Photo with All 4 of Her Kids: "Mama Lion with Cubs"

Priscilla accompanied Luhrmann and the cast to the 2022 Met Gala earlier this month, where Butler said that making her and Jerry Schilling, Elvis' former manager who was also present at the event, "proud was really at the core of it all for me."

"Making all the people who loved Elvis so much proud and doing [him] justice," added the actor.

"I just set out to find his humanity as much as I could and bring that out with as much life as much as I could," Butler said.

Elvis premieres June 24 in theaters and 45 days later on HBO Max.

Related Articles