Television

Barry Keoghan Talks Jacob Elordi, Dance Scenes, and Vulnerability


The digital cover of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue features a conveyor belt of the hottest stars of the season. Pedro Pascal and Colman Domingo glide across the screen in well-tailored tuxedos, chatting about reading the National Enquirer. Jodie Comer stands tall in trophy gold next to Lily Gladstone, stunning in a suit of her own. And at the end of the 11-person lineup is Barry Keoghan — stark naked and cheesing at the camera.

The nod to his fluid Saltburn closing dance scene set to Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s “Murder on the Dancefloor” is also representative of the vulnerability that the actor’s newfound position in the spotlight has forced him to contend with. “It’s quite a scary one as well, because I’m not used to this much attention. It’s overwhelming, if I’m quite honest,” Keoghan told Vanity Fair. “It’s almost a different kind of life that you’ve got to be living now.”

The 31-year-old added that all he really wants to do is slip into his roles on-screen and work with great filmmakers. If only it were that simple. Oliver, the pathological liar Keoghan plays in Saltburn, is the first role to become such a large part of his social narrative. He hasn’t had to maintain the village idiot persona of his Banshees of Inisherin character or the magic-possessing cult leader of his Eternals character. And yet here he is, double-cheeked up on the cover of VF.

“I do dance around naked, though, in my house. [Laughs.] Everyone does, man. We all sing in the shower. We all act silly when we’re alone and we feel this freedom. It’s one thing that I did relate to,” Keoghan shared, adding: “It can be detrimental to the mind and your mental state if you read into it too much or you look at too much stuff being said. But I wouldn’t go there if I wasn’t prepared for that, or if I wasn’t open to receiving what people want to say. I think it shows an act of maturity in your craft, and if it justifies the story and moves it forward, why not?”

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Keoghan’s Saltburn co-star Jacob Elordi has had a similar experience of being followed by his character in the wake of the film’s virality. A particular scene connecting their two characters through the one-sided consumption of bodily fluids left behind in a bathtub has haunted Elordi. During an appearance on The Tonight Show, Elordi was uncomfortably asked to smell a scented candle labeled: “Jacob Elordi’s Bathwater.” Pestering about the scene later led to an alleged physical altercation when a radio personality approached the actor in public asking for a sample of his bathwater.

Luckily, Keoghan and Eloridi were able to experience madness together. “He’s my baby boy. I love Jacob. He’s one of my best friends. Obviously, we met on this movie and I was aware of his work, but he’s there for me and he’s always got my back,” the actor shared about their friendship, adding: “It’s funny to see the internet go the way it’s going. I’m so comfortable with him, and I can be my true self around that lad. He’s a very intelligent, very fecking, well-talented lad as well.”





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