Barry Keoghan says acting is therapeutic to him

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 3 September 2018
Barry Keoghan

Barry Keoghan

Barry Keoghan has revealed that playing different roles allows you to relate to them in a "therapeutic" way

Barry Keoghan says becoming an actor has been very "therapeutic" for him.

The 25-year-old Irish actor achieved notoriety playing Martin Lang in Yorgos Lanthimos' 2017 psychological horror 'The Killing of a Sacred Deer', an American teenager exacting a grisly revenge on

a surgeon, played by Colin Farrell, and he followed that performance up with a role in Christopher Nolan's 2017's World War II drama 'Dunkirk'.

Although Barry first wanted to break into acting to have fun and earn some money the art form soon took on a deeper meaning for him.

Speaking in an interview with The Guardian newspaper, he said: "I was looking for something. I was looking to mess around, to joke. And get paid! But on a deeper level, it was very therapeutic for me. I could be someone else. I think you get to release a few of your problems there through being another person."

Barry endured a tough upbringing and journey to the big screen as his mother died of a heroin overdose at the age of 31 and he and his brother Eric were moved between 13 different foster care homes over

a five-year period until their grandmother took them in.

The rising star admits it was not easy to get over the grief of losing a parent but it led to he and his brother forming an unbreakable bond.

He explained: "Foster care was a big part of my life. My mother dying of drugs is not easy for any kid. Anyone dying is not easy, but certainly not a mother. Me and my brother, we stuck together. The foster families were good to me and then my nanny took me in.

"It really did shape me into who I am. That's why I say I'm happy [to talk about it], I'm proud of it. And as I've said before I'm very proud of my mother."

It was Barry's brother Eric who encouraged him to follow his dream of becoming an actor and that gave him the confidence to go for it.

He said: "Eric never took the p**s out of me. Because where I'm from, to do acting is not heard of. Being one of the lads and all, you don't just go, 'Oh, I want to be an actor.' They'd laugh and joke about it. Not in a mean way, but like taking the p**s. But once you get the seal of approval from your brother, you just know."

Explaining how his love of cinema was fostered, he added: "I'd mitch (bunk) off school and go to this place to watch all of these films. I'd watch Paul Newman and all these greats and I was like, 'Who are these?' I was learning my craft by watching these old movies. I was getting educated and I didn't even know it."

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

  • 4 stars
  • 2017
  • UK / Ireland
  • 1h 49min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Cast: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Alicia Silverstone

Steven (Farrell) is a cardiac surgeon who finds himself being stalked by a creepy teenager, martin (Keoghan); then Steven’s family is threatened with an inexplicable sickness. Lanthimos’s trademark deadpan dialogue and dark humour exist alongside distressing flashes of cruelty. Chilling, powerful and disturbing.

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