Whether it’s Rami Malek’s socially awkward hacker Elliot Alderson who is hell bent on taking down society’s Illuminati in USA’s Mr. Robot or Krysten Ritter in Netflix/Marvel’s Jessica Jones who is battling her sexual assaulter, this Emmy season is about the outsiders, the anarchists and the rebels. Add into this, the fearless, intense powder keg performance put forth by Riley Keough as law student-turned-high-class call girl in Starz’s Steven Soderbergh production The Girlfriend Experience. The series, which dropped all of its 13 episodes at once on Starz Play, isn’t just another late night soft porn cable series ala Secret Diary of a Call Girl, rather it centers around Keough’s Christine Reade who, through her sexual addiction, squares off and takes the upper hand –both emotionally and financially– in a male-dominated, steely Chicago. In his review of The Girlfriend Experience, Deadline’s Dominic Patten calls Keough’s turn “astonishing” and that the series, which is a spinoff of Soderbergh’s 2009 indie film in name only is “a rare, riveting and yet sometimes racy take on sexuality, identity, gender and power” as created by Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz. “Sex is a backdrop to a far more passionate tale,” says Patten. In our interview with Keough at our Cannes Film Festival studio she tells us what drew her to the part of Christine. In addition, the granddaughter of Elvis Presley tells us about her epic road film that played at the fest, A24’s American Honey from director Andrea Arnold, in which she plays a white trash boss exercising unequal power over an outcast magazine-selling millennial road crew.
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