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The Riley Keough riddle


“Zola,” based on an infamous Twitter thread, is about people using social media as advertising, but Keough prefers to use it to pierce her own celebrity: despite starring in a few films for hot studio A24, she hopped Keough continued on her Instagram last year to rattle off all of the A24 films she couldn’t book, such as “Uncut Gems”, “Spring Breakers” and “The Spectacular Now” at lightning speed.

The directors of these films asked Keough to apologize, but initially the refusals hadn’t bothered them too much. “I don’t care if I fail,” she said. “I have this attitude: ‘Well, I’ll just do better then.’” And there were also bigger problems that could be spent that energy on.

“I’ve spent my whole life in a kind of existential crisis,” she told me soberly, tucking strands of auburn hair behind her ear. “The moment I arrived on earth, I thought, ‘What am I doing here? Why does everyone act like it’s normal? ‘”

Of course, Keough’s childhood was anything but ordinary: when she was around 5 years old, her mother Lisa Marie Presley separated from her musician father Danny Keough and married Michael Jackson. One parent granted access to wealthy fortresses like Graceland and Neverland, while the other lived more modestly in trailer parks with mattresses on the floor.

Keough had no qualms about visiting her father; Once she even said to him, “When I grow up, I want to be as poor as you.” She hadn’t known then how offensive her remark was, but this split childhood with her brother Benjamin would come in handy in her twenties, when Keough worked as an actress: she had amassed enough authenticity to both play normal people and enough privilege to live her life without much worry.

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