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The trend of movies being turned into TV series is here to stay – if it was ever absent in the first place – and one of the latest to make the jump is Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 drama The Girlfriend Experience, which is headed to Starz. (Yeah, I don’t get it either.) The series has landed its lead actress in Riley Keough, who worked with Soderbergh in a small role in Magic Mike. I guess he liked her.
In The Girlfriend Experience, which Soderbergh will executive produce, Keough will play an escort whose sexual skills are but a small part of her job requirements. As in the film, Keough and her ilk are of a much more exclusive variety of service people, taking on not merely one night stands but lasting relationships with men (and possibly women) who aren’t always capable of making monogamous connections with others without buttloads of money being exchanged. They’re there for comfort, conversations and showy public appearances. It’s the kind of job that I’d have aimed for as a youth had I known it existed.
IndieWire doesn’t share any specific details regarding the show’s plot, but we can assume it will follow Keough’s character as she deals with a handful (or more) of clients. Considering it’s on Starz, expect a LOT of sex and mayhem, though on a smaller scale than, say, Spartacus.
The series’ 13 episodes will all be written and directed by Lodge Kerrigan (Keane, The Killing) and Amy Seimetz, who recently played Danette in The Killing and the romantic co-lead in Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color. They’ll be splitting the directorial duties up, as far as I can tell, which should make for some interesting viewing. Take a look at the original film’s trailer below to get a sense of how this story works. (And note that this was the first mainstream role for adult film actress Sasha Grey.)
Keough, granddaughter of Elvis Presley, is still a relatively new face in Hollywood, having made her big screen debut in 2010’s The Runaways. She appeared opposite Justin Timberlake in the music video for his song “TKO,” and will be seen next year in Peer Pedersen’s drama The Greens are Gone with Catherine Keener, and George Miller’s long-awaited Mad Max: Fury Road, opposite Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.
We can probably expect Keough to be a bigger star by the time The Girlfriend Experience hits Starz, which will likely be next year at some point. Keep an eye and a wallet out for more casting news in the near future.