Colin Farrell praises Barry Keoghan for overcoming 'insurmountable desolation'
Colin Farrell praised actor Barry Keoghan for overcoming ‘insurmountable’ personal tragedy to become one of Ireland’s fastest rising stars.
Keoghan has spoken about the difficulties he encountered during his childhood; he and his brother spent five years in foster care after his mother died of a heroin overdose.
“Heroin came into Dublin, and it caught every family,” he said previously.
“My mother was one of the unlucky ones. She got caught on it, then she passed away.”
Farrell presented Keoghan with the Wilde Card rising star award at the 13th annual Oscar Wilde party in Santa Monica.
Now in its 13th year, the awards honours filmmakers with a connection to Ireland and Irish film.
Farrell and Keoghan worked together on Yorgos Lanthimos’ Killing of A Sacred Deer, and Farrell said it was an honour to share the screen with him.
“It’s really incredible what he has achieved in a few years. Anyone who knows Barry can testify to the fact that he has gone through a certain amount of experience in his own personal life,” he said.
“He has experienced a certain amount of absolute desolation in his personal life, in his past, things that I would find in my contemplation of such loss, completely insurmountable.
“So for him to out every bit of hope, and pain and curiosity in to his work but also be a man of great generosity and warmth fun, little bit of madness - just the right measure is the most impressive thing.”
He added; “he has been described as up and coming but he has very much arrived on the world stage. From his heartless days as the heartless Love/Hate cat killer Barry Keoghan has just in a few years worked with the likes of Christopher Nolan, and Yorgos Lanthimos”.
Farrell said that Keoghan’s role in Dunkirk was pivotal and “for me at least the true heart and soul of the film…in a film of epic scope he was the one who brought home the personal loss inevitable in conflict.”
He said he was “thrilled daily to work with barry” on The Killing of A sacred Deer and spoke of the mix of innocence and menace he brought to the role.
Farrell congratulated Keoghan for receiving a nomination for Best Actor in today’s Independent Spirit Awards.
“While I have got nothing,” he said jokingly.
Keoghan almost missed the awards after his flight out of Dublin was first cancelled by 24 hours than delayed.
“The whole of Ireland is shut down,” Farrell said. “There is a shortage of bread, s**t has hit the fan.”
Keoghan was feeling jet lag kick in when he took to the stage, thanking the Oscar Wilde team he added that he was “absolutely wrecked lads”.
Other honourees on the night included Star Wars Mark Hamill, “Best in Show” and “Home Alone” star Catherine O’Hara and and “Hunger Games” actress Paula Malcomson.
Hamill spoke about his paternal Irish heritage and his time shooting on Skellig Micheal.
"This is such an honour - initially I thought it was an administrative mistake," Hamill said.
"I have learnt everything I know about Ireland through movies and what a rich heritage it is from the exuberance and joy of The Commitments to harrowing tragedy of Angela's Ashes."
Hamill had attended the ceremony several years ago when the late Carie Fisher was given an award. "I can't be as witty [as her] but I will strive to be more coherent."
Other guests include Martin Short, Kathy Griffin, Diane Keaton, Jason O’Mara, Sarah Bolger, Andy Serkis, comedian Aisling Bea, Victoria Smurfit, Nora-Jane Noone, and designer Don O’Neill were all in attendance.
After the guests had walked the green carpet they made their way inside the venue where they tucked into mini fish N chips, grass fed beef sliders, and cheddar and shaved ham toasties while bartenders mixed together ‘Oscar-tinis’.
Abrams said he loves hosting the event as an honorary Irish man as it is “a fun, loose irreverent and somehow soulful evening that celebrates this country and it’s connection with the US.”