Riley Keough feared she wouldn’t get her musical role in ‘Daisy and the Six’ because she couldn’t belt out a song.
Elvis Presley’s granddaughter – whose parents are the late Lisa Marie Presley and her ex-husband Danny Keough – plays the titular singer in the new Prime Video series, but unlike her late grandfather, Riley had no singing experience and “faked it until she made it” by hiring a vocal coach to teach her how to belt out a tune.
Speaking to Bella magazine, she said: “I brought no [musical] experience!
“I read for the role and I auditioned, and obviously they said a huge part of this is singing.
“I had never sung before and had no singing background.
“I never really knew what it felt like to belt out a song.
“And sometimes when you’re an actor and you really want to do something, you’ll tell them, ‘Yeah, I can do that.'”
The 33-year-old actress admits she owes the role to her spouse, Ben Smith-Petersen, for believing in her.
She continued: “So I sat there and had a voice note chat with my husband, and I asked him what song I should sing.
“I didn’t even know how to sing. Like, what do I do? And we just started singing through songs.
She recalled: “He sang with me and, to be completely honest, I wouldn’t have done it had he not told me I could do it. I wouldn’t have considered myself a singer.
Riley sobbed after fearing she would lose the role for not being able to properly belt out a tune.
She went on: “So I recorded a little song. I can’t even remember what it was… I sang really softly and I sent it in and they said,
“Great… can she sing out more?”
“So I sang a little louder, sent it to them, and then they’re like, ‘Great… can she belt?’
“And then I was like, belt? I don’t even know what belt means? Do I yell and sing? So, I was in a car and I had my phone and I just tried to sing something loud and I sounded so bad. So bad that I started crying and I sat there in my car and I was like, there’s no way I’m ever going to be able to belt and I just need to give it up now. Back to the life lessons – don’t give up. I was really sad and I kind of sat there and, you know, was like this is kind of the end of the road here for Daisy Jones. I can’t belt.”
Asked what she did to ensure she got the role, she explained: “It’s not in my nature to give up on things. So, I moped around for like a night and then I went to a voice coach. He taught me to belt.
“He really did. I went in and sang Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Simple Man’.
“And it worked. Next, I went to Sound City to sing with Blake Mills and Tony Berg. That was crazy. It felt like it was, like, the third time I had ever sang.
“What am I doing? But, you know, you fake it ’til you make it. I just walked in there and sang. And here we are. I have a record.”