Barry Keoghan Doesn’t “Like the Idea of People Being Paid to Act”

by 24USATVMay 7, 2024, 6:01 p.m. 23
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It’s just a few hours before the 2024 Met Gala, and Barry Keoghan is pumping himself up by blaring music by his pals—the buzzy British rappers Dave and Central Cee—through his hotel suite’s Bluetooth speakers. “I love Cenchy,” the Irish actor says. “He’s my boy, him and Dave.”

Their track “Our 25th Birthday” buzzes on, and Cench’s voice rains down:

“I ain’t puttin’ no suit and tie on, I turned down the Met Gala.”

While Central Cee’s unyielding preference for tracksuits may be the dealbreaker keeping him from the hallowed Met steps, this will be Keoghan’s second go-around on fashion’s biggest red carpet. The actor just flew into New York City from his new homebase of London, where he visited his young son Brando, who was born in 2022. It’s been a hell of a year since Keoghan’s last Met, bookended by his first Oscar nomination for The Banshees of Inisherin and his first leading-man role in Emerald Fennell’s twisty aristocratic thriller Saltburn. Today, amid the waxing Met chaos, Keoghan is in a contemplative mood.

“It feels like it’s calmed down,” he says, reflecting on his last few months. “Everything’s calm, but that’s because I'm controllin’ it. Before, I didn’t really have control of it. I kind of want to set a new approach to everything as well. Felt like it was a bit too much for me.” All that pomp, he believes, “kind of contradicts me as an artist, as an actor.”

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