Riley Keough: American Honey

by Luca Celada May 18, 2016

The dire early predictions of rain turned out to be widely exaggerated, and the weather has been mostly resplendent during the Cannes Festival; but having Riley Keough stop by the HFPA lounge is truly a ray of sunshine. The 27-year old actress -who was seen on the Palais big screen last year as one of the fugitive wives in Mad Max: Fury Road and is currently on the small screen in the Starz series The Girlfriend Experience - is back in Cannes with a remarkable supporting turn in Andrea Arnold’s American Honey. The film is inspired by a 2007 New York Times story on “mag crews”, roaming bands of mostly working class, often rootless young people who crisscross the heartland plying magazine subscriptions door-to-door. In the British director’s film newcomer Sasha Lane plays eighteen year-old Star who joins a crew to escape the squalor of her marginalized and abused existence. Jake (Shia LaBeouf) is the putative leader but it is fierce and fearsome Krystal (Keough) who calls the shots and takes 50% of the kids’ earnings. The film is poignant: poetic and at the same time documentary in feel, a result of the director and her cast immersing themselves for months in the actual milieu – a kind of lyrical “neorealist” essay about an “orphan” generation, barely afloat in the great American hinterland – an intimate narrative, which at the same time speaks to the American dream in an era of vanishing jobs. The film features amazing performances from a remarkable group of non-actors alongside Keough and LaBeouf, who confirms that he is one of most fearless actors of his generation. We asked Riley about it.

More on American Honey: Andrea Arnold's Dazzling Road Movie.