Barry Keoghan Can Do Anything (2023)

Barry Keoghan steps out of the bathroom of a members-only club on New York's Lower East Side and throws a handful of Dubble Bubble in front of me and his friend Shona Guerin. "There's gum here," says the 25-year-old Irishman. I take one, not because he really wants one, but because Keoghan seems to be portraying Dubble Bubble as some sort of icebreaker and it would be rude not to. "The question is, do you trust me?"

It sucks to say this considering that Keoghan knows I just sawkill a sacred deer. No film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (Lobster,Dog tooth) and co-starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman, Keoghan stars as a teenager named Martin who forces the surgeon who accidentally killed his father (Farrell) to make a terrible compromise: sacrifice an immediate family member or watch how each of his they are paralyzed and bleed from their eyes and then slowly die. How Martin is able to set this devious chain of events in motion is never explained; Keoghan plays it with incredible directness, reciting Farrell's terrible Steven Murphy rules like lines from a book report. He uses similar intonation to suggest that he poisoned Dubble Bubble and clearly enjoys the star's layer of mischief.sacred deercontributed to her bright and innocent personality.

I leave the gum on the table.

Keoghan had some remarkable months: beforesacred deer, he played George, a naive and pure-hearted teenager in a waistcoat, in Christopher Nolan's World War II epic.Therefore. It was a small role with a basic function and only a few lines, but Keoghan managed to capture a sense of idealism in the character, to the point where his sudden death was genuinely tragically sad. "I've always said I want to work with good independent filmmakers, and if there's a blockbuster coming out and the filmmaker is great, I'll do it," says Keoghan. "And then I get the best of everything! It's Chris Nolan! The best director who also makes great movies."

Even so, Keoghan's performance inThereforehardly comparable to his turn like thatsacred deers Grim Reaper in jeans and backpack.sacred deerit is a film about responsibility, consequences and compensation, and Keoghan's Martin is the center of gravity around which all these themes revolve. As always when it comes to his films, Lanthimos is the one who created the seemingly alternate, almost human universe ofsacred deer- sick and ill at the same time - but Keoghan is his spokesman, transformed in the course of two hours from a simple and likeable boy into a ruthless but magnetic executioner of justice. "His face of him, the physique of him, the whole presence of him," says Lanthimos when he is asked why he chose Keoghan. “He's just an interesting person to watch. It would have been easy to create this one-dimensional evil child, but the mere presence of him conveys many different things at once.”

"To play these two roles in a few months, to show my range, it's a dream," says Keoghan. "I want people to be like, 'Fuck, is that him? He's completely different.'"

Keoghan was born in one of the darkest areas of Dublin, Ireland. Coming from the north side of the River Liffey, which bisects the city, it acts as a socio-economic dividing line between the deprived north and the wealthier south. your mother who washeroin addict, died at the age of 5 and was placed in a foster family. It's the one part of Keoghan's life that he doesn't talk about; When I ask him about his childhood, he replies, "You probably did some digging, huh?" as if to say, "The information is there, so let's move on." When he was 11 years old, his grandmother took him in. He is more than happy to tell stories from his youth and paint a picture of himself that is just as sneakily creepy as some of the characters he has played. He was kicked out of his all-boys school because "they didn't have my games anymore. The last thing I did was flip a coin and it hit a teacher over the head. That was the last straw for her." He shyly tells the story, looking down at his feet and stifling a smile.

It was during this time that Keoghan began acting. "I saw this note in a window that said this little Irish moviebetween the channelsThey were looking for actors. Keoghan, who had never acted before, saw an opportunity. "I secretly wrote the number down because I knew my friends would make fun of me and called when I got home."

"Acting? I don't know, all I see is money," Keoghan says when asked why he auditioned for the movie, an admission that feels both honest and understandable. Actors in particular have been known to treat their profession as a trade to which they were drawn by Dionysus himself; Hearing someone categorically admit that it's a job is heartbreaking and exhilarating. For much of her early career, Keoghan played characters similar to the supporting role, in which she managedbetween the channels: Street children with problems. In 2013, she appeared in six episodes of the fourth season ofHassliebe, an Irish television series about the criminal underbelly of Dublin; In 2016, he played a homeless youth.mammal. They were not conspicuous massive (mammalshown at Sundance), but they were enough to get Keoghan's attention.

As Lanthimos says, Keoghan only has one of these faces. Somehow he seems to be constantly changing; One second it looks like a Dior model, the next it looks like Cillian Murphy has been hit with a shovel. He's sitting across from me in a white T-shirt and gray Superdry hoodie, looking friendly and innocent and young (much less than 25), but his expression can change quickly, either because the light comically highlights the scar beneath his right eye. he met wise men or because he wants to make fun of you for poisoning your food. It is his best weapon and he knows how to use it.

Barry Keoghan Can Do Anything (2) A24

kill a sacred deerIt's full of hauntingly memorable scenes, but one stands out: About two-thirds of the way through, Stephen Murphy's wife, played by Kidman, confronts Martin at his home, begging him to lift the curse. Martin is in his underwear eating a plate of spaghetti, which reminds him of a story about his father. When he was growing up, Martin recalls, he was always in awe of how his father ate pasta: so efficiently and ingeniously. He demonstrates this, twisting some of the dough on a fork and eating it in one big bite. Still chewing and sauce on his face, he continues the story, impassive, remembering how devastating it was growing up and one day realizing that the way his father ate pasta, the way it isNoeat pasta. The discovery made him feel like he was being betrayed, says Martin; as if the man he so adored barely existed. Meanwhile, Kidman's character stands stunned in front of Martin, realizing how deep the boy's scars run and perhaps coming to terms with the fact that the person keeping her and her children's lives in limbo is a teenager with a passion for the marinara sauce. .

It's an outrageous scene, this kid shoving spaghetti in your face while spreading an allegory about acknowledging your own insignificance, and Keoghan is unfazed, turning each fork into a work of art. "You know, it's not easy sitting in your underpants in front of Nicole Kidman," says Keoghan, who isn't interested in talking about her achievement or how he's able to simultaneously capture grief, loss, and baldness. "She was thinking, 'Can she see up there?'"

The day we meet, Keoghan is particularly dizzy becauseAaron Pablo's Twitterabout how good he was at itsacred deer. After six years working primarily in Irish productions, Keoghan's performance as Martin put him in a position not only to think about the future of his career, but also the next five to ten years of his life in general. . Keoghan says, "It's all a plan." When he first signed with his talent agency, WME, that plan was already partly formulated: he had written a list of directors he wanted to work with. Christopher Nolan and Yorgos Lanthimos were there. "I write everything," he says. "Directors, movies I want to make, movies I want to produce, direct, start my own company, start my own boxing club." Keoghan fills out his papersThereforemisacred deeras proof that the first step to achieving a goal is to put it down on paper (or iPhone notes). "I'm a big fan of the law of attraction," she says proudly. He doesn't show anyone the ever-growing, obsessively curated list, but it all boils down to one simple goal: "Have a good, successful career."

Barry Keoghan Can Do Anything (3) A24

Keoghan seems to know that at 25, after two notable roles in films by two renowned directors, his plan hangs in the balance. He has two upcoming projects on his board: an Irish movie called Starring Hugo Weaving and Jim Broadbent.Schwartz 47, miamerican animals, with Blake Jenner and Evan Peters-, but he wants to enjoy this moment even more. "I'm looking for this script," she says, leaning into the recorder and choosing her voice to get stronger. "I'm looking for the script!"

His personal life shows a different side to him, less turbulent and less stuck in survival mode. You could even call it romantic. He met his girlfriend Shona in a bar in Kerry where she worked. He immediately invited her, but not for dinner or anything: he suggested going to Dingle, a picturesque peninsula on the west coast of Ireland. “Luckily I had a car. I had no way to get to Dingle,” says Keoghan. Two weeks later he returned to Kerry with bags. Since then, they have been living with Shona's mother.

"He doesn't think about it much," Shona tells me with more admiration than reproach. “But he is very considerate. He feels when he has done something wrong. It hurts.

Now Keoghan and Shona want to move to the United States. They don't know exactly where, he prefers New York, she prefers Los Angeles, but the idea of ​​becoming an expatriate is exciting to her. "And we're looking for a dog of our own," Keoghan adds. "A ransom. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I love her, don't I? Just listen.

"I have to try to be in the moment," Keoghan says at the end of our interview. "Because these moments we've been having lately are great. Everyone is looking at you and it's like you have total control over everything. It's something you should like."

I pick up the gum again and Keoghan's eyes follow me as I put it in my coat pocket. This time he doesn't say anything. I walk away from the table, pick up the gum and decide to eat it.

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