Soderbergh’s new “The Girlfriend Experience” debuts tonight

Barb Oates

Starz’s new steamy thinker The Girlfriend Experience is a reimagining of executive producer Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film of the same name. The half-hour series stars the daring and beautiful Riley Keough (a.k.a. Elvis’ 26-year-old granddaughter) as Christine Reade, a second-year law student who is drawn into the world of a GFE (a girlfriend experience) or, more simply, a girl for hire who serves the needs of whatever her high-paying clients desire (sex or no sex).

Girlfriend-Experience-webKeough describes her character as being somewhat void of emotion.
“She’s not into intellectualizing her emotions, as she doesn’t really care about a lot of things women care about,” Keough says. “She’s very self-righteous and unapologetic about her behavior and her opinions on things and her morals. She’s about to provide sexual and emotional things to these men. A lot of them have problems with their wives or don’t have wives or don’t have a family or anybody to talk to. They just want to spend time with somebody. …You’re basically trying to be their perfect girlfriend.”

RELATED: Q&A with Riley Keough

And being that perfect girlfriend could be for two hours (that would be $2,000) or a weekend (that’s going to cost $15,000). Keough actually researched her role by tapping the insights of a retired escort.

“I asked her everything. I really didn’t hold back, but what I found to be the most interesting was she was telling me instances where she’d fallen in love or had feelings for her clients,” Keough says. “It was a never-going-to-work kind of thing, so it was kind of heartbreaking. She said she never felt threatened or uncomfortable. … She really enjoyed herself. A lot of the girls that I’ve talked to have said that it was a pretty good gig for them. That was interesting to me, as well, because I wasn’t sure how they felt about it.”

The Girlfriend Experience airs on Starz Sundays beginning tonight (April 10 at 8pm ET/PT), plus, the entire 13-episode season will be available on Starz On Demand to binge-watch

 The Starz free preview weekend is available to DirecTV subscribers on Channel 525