Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Beyond Druig: Barry Keoghan

With the release of Marvel Studios’ Eternals, actor Barry Keoghan has been receiving a growing amount of attention and respect due to his portrayal of Druig, although this is far from his first role on the big screen. Thankfully, Eternals has elevated Keoghan from an under-appreciated fan-favorite to a household name in the works. Keoghan has been in an impressive collection of films and television series, many of which have received praise from critics and audiences alike. If Druig fans want more of Keoghan to appreciate, below are some of our personal favorites from his career catalogue to check out, and some projects to expect in the future.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Film4 Productions

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is easily one of the most unsettling movies to release in 2017. Scratch that, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is easily one of the most unsettling movies to release of all time. This psychological horror film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos is based on the Ancient Greek tragedy Iphigenia in Aulis. The film follows a cardiac surgeon (Colin Farrell) who secretly befriends a teenage boy (Keoghan) who has a dark connection to his past. The surgeon introduces the boy to his family, who all begin to fall mysteriously ill and approach death’s door.

There is no other way to put this: Keoghan freaks me out in the best way possible throughout this film. As Martin, Keoghan is mysterious and outright chilling as he maneuvers his way throughout the film and his character enacts his own sense of justice. This movie’s plot and Keoghan’s portrayal of Martin will absolutely leave you feeling uneasy, largely thanks to his notable range as an actor.

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Where To Watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Calm With Horses/The Shadow of Violence

Film4 Productions

Calm With Horses is an Irish crime drama that was released in the United States under a different name, The Shadow of Violence. The film is an adaptation of a short story by the same name from the Young Skins collection by Colin Barrett. Calm With Horses follows Arm, a former boxer turned organized crime enforcer in rural Ireland, who is ordered to kill someone The film stars Cosmo Jarvis as Arm, Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar, Ned Dennehy, Kiljan Moroney and David Wilmot.

Keoghan’s role in Calm With Horses is another member of the crime family and a close friend to Arm, Dymphna. Dymphna is another complex and violent character Keoghan, and yet again he is able to bring this character to life on-screen with a subtle and intimidating aura. As can be expected with any role that involves organized crime, there are a lot of different layers to Dymphna, and Keoghan is able to truly showcase this. Calm With Horses is another role in which Keoghan delivers a gripping performance rooted in an immense amount of reality.

Where To Watch: Available to stream on Netflix

American Animals

The Orchard
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American Animals is a 2018 crime docudrama film written and directed by Bart Layton. Starring Evan Peters, Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, and Ann Dowd, the film follows four college students who plan a heist of the school’s rarest books contained in the library. It tells the story of a real-life heist which took place at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky in 2004. The film received critical acclaim particularly for the use of unreliable narrators (the four men who performed the real-life heist).

Keoghan stars as Spencer Reinhard, an art student who is seeking some kind of excitement or tragedy for inspiration. While touring Transylvania University’s library’s rare-book collection, an incredibly rare first edition of John James Audubon’s Birds of America catches his eye. He and his friend Warren (Peters) then devise a plan to steal this book amongst other rare books, which leads to a 7-year stay in federal prison for all four young men. Keoghan’s portrayal of a starving art student who clearly doesn’t think things through enough turn criminal feels so real that at times it’s possible to forget Keoghan was not actually at the heist in 2004.

Where To Watch: Available to stream on Prime Video

Chernobyl

HBO

Chernobyl is a 2019 historical drama miniseries from HBO that revolves around the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 at the titular nuclear power plant, and the actions that authorities did and did not take to address the aftermath. While the creative team behind the miniseries performed extensive research to tell this story as accurately as possible, there were obviously artistic liberties taken for dramatic purposes.

Keoghan portrays a civilian liquidator draftee, Pavel Gremov, who has been brought in to assist in the cleanup operation following the nuclear disaster. Keoghan is able to communicate Pavel’s emotional state during these events through another incredible performance. Audiences are able to connect with Pavel and understand that he is feeling way in over his head in the environment he is currently living and working in.

Where To Watch: Available to stream on HBOMax

The Green Knight

A24/Lionsgate

The Green Knight is a 2021 epic medieval fantasy film directed, written, edited and produced by David Lowery. The film is adapted from the 14th-century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and stars Dev Patel as Gawain, a nephew of King Arthur, who sets out on a journey to test his courage and face the Green Knight. My sincerest hope coming out of The Green Knight is that it inspires more Arthurian tale adaptations.

While Keoghan does not have a ton of screen time in this film, the screen time he does have is vital and proves his range as an actor once again and helps shape the medieval world around him. Keoghan’s role is a scavenger who plays an important role in Gawain’s journey. The scavenger is another role where Keoghan gets to display how eery and unsettling he can become, yet manages to bring an endearing playfulness to the character.

Where To Watch: Available to rent and purchase digitally

Upcoming

The Batman

The Batman is movie reboot of the iconic DC Comics property spanning all the way back to 1939. This film thrusts The Lighthouse alumni Pattinson into the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Alongside Pattinson, Keoghan is confirmed in the cast as Officer Stanley Merkel. While Stanley Merkel comes straight from the comics as Jim Gordon’s first partner at the Gotham City Police Department, and was eventually killed by the Hangman, there have been rumors for months now that Keoghan’s character will actually be the Reeves Universe’s Joker.

Release Date: March 4, 2022

Masters of the Air

From the production company that brought audiences Band of Brothers and The Pacific comes a new war drama miniseries, Masters of the Air. The miniseries is based on the actions of the Eighth Air Force of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, which will certainly not be the first WWII inspired role Keoghan has stepped into. Masters of the Air is already underway with production, and will stream exclusively on AppleTV+.

Release Date: TBD

Sapphire

While it has been quite some time since any news on Sapphire has released, this is a project that I am personally looking forward to an incredible amount and hope it is going forward still. Sapphire is an upcoming thriller from director Matthew Wolfe and is co-written by Wolfe and his brother, Daniel. The film focuses a world-champion snooker player plagued by a gambling addiction who escapes to China in search of a fresh start only to become indebted to illegal bookmakers and forced into a mortal dilemma. Keoghan is currently the only confirmed member of the cast.

Release Date: TBD

The Banshees of Inisherin

The Banshees of Inisherin is an upcoming drama film from Martin McDonagh and Film4 Productions. Banshees will follow a pair of lifelong friends (Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell) on a remote Irish island who find themselves at an awkward time in their relationship when one of them no longer wants to be friends. Unfortunately for the pair, there are alarming consequences for ending the friendship. Keoghan confirmed filming had wrapped for the film October 23, 2021.

Release Date: TBD

Keoghan’s full impressive filmography can be found on IMDb.

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