The Dunkirk and Killing of a Sacred Deer star opened up about his traumatic younger years and his mother death, due to drug addiction.
You've gotta hand it to Irish actor Barry Keoghan. The rising star who starred in last year’s Dunkirk and The Killing of a Sacred Deer gave a revealing interview to Ryan Tubridy on last Friday’s Late Late Show and opened up about his traumatic childhood as the son of mother who died of drug addiction.
Keoghan, 25, has spoken about his life story before; how he not only survived intact but thrived is really remarkable. He told Tubridy that he and his brother were shuttled between 13 foster homes during their Dublin youth because their mom was addicted to heroin.
“The drugs hit the area and affected all the families. She was one who got caught,” the star said. “We went into foster care. The families were good to us that we went to, we went to a few of them. As a kid you don’t know what’s happening …you get attached and them boom, let’s move over here … it’s only when you get older you can look back and get a bit of perspective.”
Keoghan was 12 when his mother succumbed to her addiction. She was “30, 31,” he remembers.
“I have great memories of her. Very proud of her,” he added.
Granny Keoghan was in the Late Late audience and said he loved her celebrity grandson who she helped to raise, along with an aunt, Lorraine, who was also in the crowd.
Keoghan acknowledged that his story could have had an unhappy ending, but he was determined not to be another cliché.
“Thirteen homes, you know? If that was on paper you’d kind of go, he’s destined to mess up, but I went against it and didn’t dwell on it and used it as ammunition almost. I hope I inspire younger ones to kind of go, whatever you are into, go and do something.”
Barry was effusive in his praise of Colin Farrell, saying that the generation older actor is “unreal as a person. They don’t give advice, the good ones … you watch and learn. He kept me on track. He’s very good to me.”
Keoghan has plenty of ambition too. Daniel Day-Lewis holds a record three Oscars; Barry thinks he’ll have no problem matching that.
"I'll put the Oscar there," he said, looking to Tubridy's desk. "Put the other one there, and the other one there."
His next film, a heist caper called American Animals, drops on June 1 and was a favorite at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It’s racking up some nice reviews too, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it a “crackerjack real-life heist thriller.”