Riley Keough, daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and granddaughter of Elvis Presley, speaks of her grief a year after her younger brother, Benjamin Keough, committed suicide at the age of 27.
The 32-year-old actor appeared on the “Just for the variety” podcast hosted by Marc Malkin this week, using the end of their segment to discuss the aftermath of his family’s loss last year.
“I think when you are in mourning everything hits you for the first time,” the “Zola” star said. “It’s like, ‘Oh, I’m living this in grief now.’ It’s the little things at first, like I’m going to the grocery store in grief. Never done this before. And then it’s like, ‘I’m going back to the gym in grief.’ And so you kind of have to relive everything in grief until you’ve done everything in grief in my experience.
Keough described his return to the set for “The Terminal List” while crying as a new experience in learning to sail. Two days after returning to the set, she said going back to all that was intact was a “weird” experience.
“It’s weird… you’re back in your office, so to speak, but your brother is gone,” she said.
She admitted that she had preconceptions about suicide, so when Benjamin passed away in July 2020, she started posting videos on Instagram to “share that people you never know would kill themselves can kill themselves.” to commit suicide ”and began to take away the prejudices surrounding suicide
“There isn’t a single version of it,” she added. “And our scenario… I never imagined. It wasn’t something that I saw coming… I think people think of mental health this way, and I think that’s really to me what I’ve always wanted to communicate through him. Everyone who knew him knew it, but he was just a magical person.
Since her brother’s death shocked her, Keough has said she tries to talk about it when she can because she finds people not talking about death ‘frustrating’ because it is something. that we will all have to face one day.
“As much as I can, I bring it into conversations if it’s appropriate, obviously, but especially with people who have been through similar situations because I have, and saw how it felt. people uncomfortable, ”she said. “No one really knew what was the right thing to say. There are so many things, ‘Oh, I don’t want to talk about this. I don’t know if we have to say it. Should I say it or should I not speak? ‘ And I’m just very like yes, talking about it. I want to talk about my brother.
Keough remembered her brother on what would have been some defining moments over the past year after she paid him a heartbreaking tribute following his death. Less than a month after her burial in Graceland, she paid tribute to her brother on what would have been her 28th birthday, simply captioning a Instagram post which contained a multitude of family memories, “Happy birthday beautiful angel.”
In December, Keough reflected on his first Christmas without his younger brother by his side in a Instagram post, sharing a close-up cropped selfie of siblings.
“Words cannot describe how painful it is,” she wrote in part. “I think of all those who have lost someone they love and all of those whose first vacations are with grief and without the person they love. And I also think of all the beautiful people who cannot be here with us in physical form and send my love to them wherever they are, not too far away.
During the episode, Keough and Malkin brought up the subject of his grandfather, Elvis Presley, after discussing the similarities between the voice of country singer Orville Peck and the “King of Rock and Roll”. When asked if she listens to her grandfather’s music, Keough answered honestly, “I’m not playing it.”
“If it’s on, I’ll listen to it,” she added shortly after. “There is definitely emotion around it. There was certainly a lot of heartache around that growing up, especially seeing my mom and grandma. There was something sad, tragic kind… so there was definitely that connection to it. And I could see from a young age that it would make my mom sad. And so I could feel it.
Although listening to your grandfather’s music is not a conscious choice, Keough said. “It’s definitely a touching experience, especially if it’s one of the most touching songs. More gospel stuff definitely makes me emotional. But I’ll listen to it if it’s on, I’m just not going to put it on.
For her upcoming role in “Daisy Jones and the Six,” Keough will be performing, and Malkin stressed that the first thing audience members will look for and listen to are the similarities between her and her iconic grandfather.
So, is she like Elvis when she sings?
“I’m not,” Keough replied quickly. “My voice isn’t like Elvis’ but I’ll tell you, I just found out I have kind of a country voice. I did it the other day in the studio.
“I have a weird voice … but it’s fun and I love it and I’m always interested in trying things. I have a weird thing where I don’t care about failing, and it’s been really helpful. in this area to deal with. “
If you or someone you know is at risk for suicide, please call US National Lifeline for Suicide Prevention at 800-273-8255, text TALK at 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/ressources for additional resources.