Riley Keough and Lily Gladstone Share How True Crime Drama “Under the Bridge” 'Hits Close to Home' (Exclusive)

Keough's sisters, Finley and Harper, are 15, around the same age as Reena Virk, the teen whose murder is at the center of the Hulu series

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Riley Keough (left) and Lily Gladstone at the


Riley Keough (left) and Lily Gladstone at the 'Under the Bridge' premiere

When Riley Keough and Lily Gladstone first met with the producers of Hulu's new true crime drama, Under the Bridge, they were struck by the show's approach to the story of the murder of teen Reena Virk.

"I had a meeting with Quinn [Shephard] and Samir [Mehta], who created and produced the show," Keough, 34, tells PEOPLE. "That conversation really excited me. They were really open to exploring and having conversations that I haven't really seen had in this kind of a genre before, and exploring themes like empathy and compassion and forgiveness within a true crime genre."

Gladstone, 37, was a bit more hesitant to sign onto the series at first, but the chance to work with Keough, the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and granddaughter of Elvis Presley, made her think twice.

"Initially, knowing that it was true crime, I kind of leaned away from it having just made Killers of the Flower Moon," she says. "But then learning that Riley was attached, not just to act in it, but as a producer, that made me lean back in. Because I've been wanting to work with her forever. And I've wanted to work with her forever because she has those difficult conversations and she's such a compassionate person. She leverages her position in this world in a way not many people do, and I really respect that."

Related: The True Story Behind Under the Bridge: What Happened to Reena Virk?

<p>Darko Sikman/Hulu</p> Lily Gladstone on 'Under the Bridge'

Darko Sikman/Hulu

Lily Gladstone on 'Under the Bridge'

The show's approach to the story — told from numerous perspectives, including a journalist (Keough's Rebecca Godfrey), policewoman (Gladstone's composite character Cam), the Virks and the teenagers at the center of the story — was also a touchstone for the Oscar nominee.

"I knew that if this true crime story were being told, it needed to be told similar to the way that Killers of the Flower Moon self-indicted the whole process of telling these stories," she says. "Ultimately, when I met with Quinn and Samir, knowing that it was not just Under The Bridge [by Rebecca Godfrey] that was sourced, that there was a deep dive into the memoir written by Reena's father of what their family went through, of how they were treated by both the media represented by Rebecca and the police force represented by Cam, the way that Reena was not just dehumanized by the crime, but by the whole process of the trial to try and bring her some justice."

"So, I feel like this piece really drew me in because it was another opportunity to have a longer examination of, why do we sensationalize crimes like this and continue to dehumanize the victim?" she adds.

<p>Darko Sikman/Hulu</p> Riley Keough on 'Under the Bridge'

Darko Sikman/Hulu

Riley Keough on 'Under the Bridge'

Related: Riley Keough Is 'Very Protective' of Sisters Finley and Harper, 14, After Mom Lisa Marie Presley's Death: Source

For Keough, the way in which young Reena Kirk was bullied — and ultimately killed — by her so-called friends was especially chilling as she considered her own sisters, twins Finley and Harper Lockwood, who are 15.

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"I have sisters that are the same age that I'm very, very close to, so it totally hits close to home in that regard," the Daisy Jones & The Six star says. "The sort of things they go through, it's not dissimilar. It's obviously not this horrific, but the interactions, the bullying, all of that is very much still alive and well, and I think that it certainly hits home for me with regards to them."

<p>Faye's Vision/INSTARimages</p> Riley Keough (left) and Lily Gladstone at the 'Under the Bridge' premiere

Faye's Vision/INSTARimages

Riley Keough (left) and Lily Gladstone at the 'Under the Bridge' premiere

Related: Lily Gladstone Still Wears Her Tattoo Choker from the '90s: 'I Rock It Whenever I Can' (Exclusive)

Thankfully, Keough and Gladstone, who first struck up a friendship on social media in 2018, had each other to help life one another's spirits on the darker days of filming.

"It certainly helped that Lily's the kindest, most gentle, sweetest soul, so she's very easy to work with when you have scenes that are heavy," Keough says. "And I just love watching actors so much, and it's just such a joy, and when you're a fan of someone and then you get to work with them and watch them perform, it's just like.... Even if the material is heavy, it's such a beautiful thing to experience it when you perform with someone that you're a fan of."

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New episodes of Under the Bridge drop Wednesdays on Hulu.

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Read the original article on People.