When Riley Keough was 9, her mother, Lisa Marie Presley, invited her to a party attended by Marilyn Manson, her favorite musician at the time. It was late, but Keough popped out of bed and was taken by car to hang with the shock rocker. "Everyone I grew up around was an artist," says the actress, now 27. "There were a lot of crazy times."
As one might expect, Keough's upbringing helped shape her into a devoted nonconformist; her resume is filled with queer-slanted, sex-positive roles. She appeared in the lesbian-werewolf romance Jack & Diane, plays a sexually fluid escort in the Starz series The Girlfriend Experience, and is now starring opposite Jena Malone in the tender indie Lovesong, about two female friends whose on-again/off-again attraction fuels the film like a gentle heartbeat.
Keough's performance in Lovesong is an intimate showcase for her nuanced talents -- a far cry from her turn in Mad Max: Fury Road, in which she played a more common-variety rebel. "I'm attracted to things that are going to move our society forward," she says. "I want to make these projects just as normal as any other project." While some will view Lovesong as slightly regressive, its lead pair's union hindered, perhaps, by a pressure to conform to heterosexual marriage, its embrace of free-flowing love is in keeping with Keough's artistic goals. "When someone tells me something is risky just because society made it that way," she says, "I want to break through that."
Like what you see here? Subscribe and be the first to receive the latest issue of Out. Subscribe to print here and receive a complimentary digital subscription.