Riley Keough reminded some fans of her grandmother, Priscilla Presley, with a set of photos she posted on June 5. The 32-year-old star has just started promoting her latest film, Zola, which co-stars Taylour Paige. The drama is inspired by a crazy 2015 viral Twitter thread by Aziah “Zola” Wells. Zola debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim, and will finally hit theaters later this month.
The Girlfriend Experience actress posted three photos on June 5, showing off a cozy leopard-print coat. Her hair was done in a ’60s style, including a headband. “Looking like your beautiful grandmother,” one fan wrote. “That classic side profile portrait resembles your beautiful grandmother,” another commented. “So beautiful! You look like Priscilla,” another fan wrote. Keough is the eldest child of Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley and Priscilla.
Zola stars Paige as Aziah “Zola” King, with Keough co-starring as Stefani. It is inspired by Wells’ Twitter thread, in which she wrote about meeting a sex worker, Stefani, and going on a cross-country road trip to earn as much money as possible pole dancing in Florida. The trip took several unexpected turns, as Stefani’s boyfriend Derrek (Nicholas Braun) and violent pimp X (Colman Domino) enter the picture. The screenplay by director Janicza Bravo and Jeremy O. Harris is also based on David Kushner’s article on the Twitter thread, Zola Tells All: The Real Story Behind the Greatest Stripper Saga Ever Tweeted.
The film earned rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival last year. However, A24 postponed the film’s release due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will finally open on June 30.
Paige almost didn’t make Zola. She told Interview Magazine she passed on it at first when she saw two white men were writing it. Her agent told her she would be perfect for the project, but she wasn’t interested. She came back to it after she auditioned for Hustlers in April 2018. Since Hustlers involved strippers, she was reminded of Zola and asked her agent what was going on with it. After learning a new writer and director were involved, she auditioned and got the job. She even stripped for three weeks in Los Angeles to prepare for the part.
According to Paige, she built her chemistry with Keough just by hanging out. At one point, Priscilla even visited them. “We both have this thing where we feel like we haven’t quite surrendered to being in the bodies that we’re in. We feel so much bigger than our limited bodies,” Paige explained. “I’ve never really had someone articulate that before. That translated into chemistry. On weekends we would get a hotel and order a bunch of food and watch HGTV. We weren’t rehearsing, but we were just spending time together. Her grandma came and visited us once, we saw a shooting star. It was just sweet.”