Friday 19 July 2019

Barry Keoghan says he used upbringing in 13 foster homes as 'ammunition' to excel in his career

Barry Keoghan on The Late Late Show, RTE One
Barry Keoghan on The Late Late Show, RTE One

Kyle Ewald

Young Irish actor Barry Keoghan told Ryan Tubridy on Friday’s Late Late Show that he used his upbringing as “ammunition” to excel in his career.

Following two major roles last year in Dunkirk and the The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the Dublin native spoke of how his mother’s early death and his time in multiple foster homes helped inspire him to succeed.

Keoghan and his brother spent time in 13 different foster homes following his mother’s death when he was 12.

The rising star spoke of the effect of drugs on his mother in Summerhill, where he was growing up at the time: “The drugs hit the area, it affected all the families, she was one of them that got caught, so you know we went into foster care. And the families were good to us that we went to. And we went to a few of them.”

Keoghan explained how he hopes his story inspires younger generations: “13 homes, you know? If that was on paper, you’d think ‘he’s destined to mess up’.

“But, I went against it, I didn’t dwell on it. I used it as ammunition almost, I hope I inspire younger ones. Whatever you’re into — sports, whatever - just do. I just used it. And now I’m representing in the Hills.” 

Speaking about the future, Keoghan previewed the trailer for his new film, American Animals.

“It’s a true story. It’s a heist film - entertaining - it’s unreal,” he said.

Tubridy praised the young actor for his positivity and invited him back in the future: “With your positivity, your skill and everything that’s going on in your world at the moment, I think you’re going to be very successful. I want you to come back here when you start winning loads of awards and be a friend of ours.”

Keoghan smiled and hit his fists on the Late Late Show desk. “I’ll put the Oscar there. Put the other one there, and the other one there,” he said.

Read more: Barry's rise from personal tragedy earns heartfelt tribute from Farrell 

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