From the streets of Fair City all the way to the Oscars, after a stellar performance in The Banshees of Inisherin, Barry Keoghan has become one of the most sought-after Irish actors of this generation.
Although Fair City was his first real role on Irish TV, it was Love/Hate that shot Keoghan to fame within Ireland.
His starring role in the film, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is what gained the Irish star international recognition. The Hollywood Reporter described him as “the next big thing”.
After 3 years noted as an up and comer the 30-year-old took on roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and in Matt Reeves’ The Batman as The Joker, but it was his portrayal of Dominic Kearney in The Banshees of Inisherin that bagged him an Oscars nomination for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role along with his co-star Brendan Gleeson.
This is your time to brush up on the Dublin native’s notable career so far and see what’s to come for him in the next few months.
Here’s everything we know about Barry Keoghan’s acting career from the start.
Where did his journey begin?
Barry’s love for acting began at school where he was cast in yearly productions. It wasn’t until he answered a casting notice in the window of a shop in Dublin for the crime film Between The Canals with next to no acting experience that he realised he had a talent and could make a career out of his hobby.
Having grown up in difficult circumstances moving between 13 different foster homes over seven years before being taken in by his grandmother, he taught himself how to fight for everything he wanted.
Instilling that fight in himself he decided to study acting at The Factory, a local Dublin acting school, where his love for acting won out over everything else even school. He told the Independent: “I remember not even having €2.20 to get the bus to The Factory”.
His career began on Fair City like a lot of Irish actors but it was his role in Love/Hate in 2016 that helped him gain notoriety within the Irish community. He portrayed the vicious Wayne, a character that lived up to expectations when he killed a cat during his first episode on screen.
The psychological thriller The Killing of a Sacred Deer, in which he starred alongside Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman as Martin, a psychotic teenager who terrorises them in a shiver-inducing performance, truly showed his affinity for dark characters.
Regarding the role, Barry told Variety in 2017: “Everyone seems to hate me or think I’m evil. I guess that means I did my job”. This role garnered him an Irish Film and TV award for Best Supporting Actor.
Showcasing his ability to play lighter roles in Dunkirk
The Irish star portrayed George Mills in Dunkirk, a kind-hearted lad who ends up joining a rescue mission, getting a first-hand look at the war and the horror and destruction associated with it. It’s Keoghan’s superb acting that makes the audience feel every heartbreaking emotion during the film’s tragic end.
Dunkirk was a breakout role for Keoghan along with many of the other actors chosen for the film by writer/director Christopher Nolan who wanted to bring in a number of new, up-and-coming talents.
Rising Star at the BAFTAS all the way to Academy Award nominee
Keoghan’s 2019 BAFTA nomination for the Rising Star Award, an honour previously bestowed upon the likes of Cillian Murphy, Michael Fassbender, Chris O’Dowd, Ruth Negga and Jessie Buckley, is what gave him the international notoriety to add films like Marvels Eternals, The Batman and The Banshees of Inisherin to his portfolio.
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His spectacular depiction of Dominic Kearney in The Banshees of Inisherin earned him a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, he has also secured a nomination for the coveted Academy Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role category.
He took to Instagram following the nomination sharing his delight and dedicating it to Brando, the five-month-old son he shares with his partner, Alyson Kierans.
We can’t wait to see what else Barry Keoghan puts out into the world, so until then we’ve got Dunkirk, The Banshees of Inisherin and Love/Hate on repeat.