Riley Keough sought out a more thoughtful approach to portraying drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll onscreen.
The eponymous star of “Daisy Jones and the Six” revealed that she was determined to showcase the novel’s depiction of substance abuse in a respectful way, especially given her family history. Keough is the granddaughter of Elvis Presley and daughter of Lisa Marie Presley, both of whom struggled with addictions to painkillers and prescription drugs. Keough’s character Daisy Jones is shown taking pills, cocaine, and more in the Prime Video series.
“Because this is something I’ve experienced in my family, I wanted the moments in which you see Daisy’s addiction to not feel glamorous,” Keough told Porter magazine, “to make sure that those moments had weight to them, that we’re seeing the humanity behind the closed doors of what people are perceiving to be glamour.”
The “Zola” star continued, “I wanted to make Daisy very human and have moments of being silly. I wanted to see other sides to her before she ends up this quintessential fucked-up rock star on drugs.”
Keough recently shared with Gotham magazine that “Daisy Jones and the Six” author and series executive producer Taylor Jenkins Reid heavily researched how addiction was discussed in the 1970s, the era in which the novel is set. A historical drug specialist was also brought on set.
“I think that Taylor did such a good job at researching what that looked like in that era, and there wasn’t as much awareness of things like addiction during that time,” Keough said. “We actually met with a guy who came in and explained what the thoughts were about addiction in the ’70s and how it was and wasn’t thought of, and that was really helpful. So, I think it was fairly accurate in terms of the awareness around addiction at the time.”
Keough’s mother Lisa Marie Presley died from cardiac arrest at the age of 54 in January 2023. Her exact cause of death is still unknown. Keough’s younger brother Benjamin committed suicide in 2020 after suffering from depression and addiction. Keough’s grandfather Elvis Presley famously died from an overdose-induced heart attack at age 42.