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Barry Keoghan Channels His “Saltburn” Character as He Bares All for “Vanity Fair” Hollywood Issue

The Irish actor said in his accompanying interview that the famous scene was "one thing that I did relate to" about his character

<p>MGM</p> Barry Keoghan in <em>Saltburn</em> (2023)

MGM

Barry Keoghan in Saltburn (2023)

Barry Keoghan is baring all!

The Irish actor went nude for a cheeky nod to his Saltburn character in a newly unveiled cover video for Vanity Fair's 30th annual Hollywood issue, which features Keoghan, 31, alongside Bradley Cooper, Natalie Portman, Pedro Pascal, Colman Domingo, Jodie Comer, Lily Gladstone, Greta Lee, Charles Melton, Da'Vine Joy Randolph and Jenna Ortega.

In Saltburn, Keoghan plays Oliver Quick, an Oxford University student invited to a lavish estate owned by the family of his classmate Felix for the 2007 summer holiday (Jacob Elordi). The final scene features a nude Oliver dancing around the mansion to Sophie Ellis-Bextor's "Murder on the Dancefloor," complete with full-frontal shots.

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Of relating to moments from his own life to play Oliver, Keoghan told Vanity Fair, "I didn’t really draw parallels to him the way I have to certain other characters."

"I do dance around naked though, in my house," he continued, laughing. "Everyone does, man. We all sing in the shower. We all act silly when we’re alone and we feel this freedom. It’s one thing that I did relate to. Not dancing around a manor of that sort with that fecking drip hanging about — but I sing out loud, I dance silly and move my body silly."

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Related: Barry Keoghan's Full Frontal Nudity in Saltburn Is 'Earned,' Says Director: 'Doesn't Feel Gratuitous (Exclusive)

Asked about some of Oliver's tendencies to falsify details about his life, Keoghan said that while those aspects of his enigmatic character weren't "necessarily" challenging to take on, "There are difficult moments where I do draw from experiences in my upbringing, and I do go to places to reach for that raw emotion and to present a real discovery there and feeling."

"That can damage you mentally as well," said the Banshees of Inisherin actor. "That’s why I don’t run onto every gig. I take time and am quite specific in what I want to do, because it’s a process. It’s an emotional journey. That’s how I work. I tend to go to places, to relive moments."

With Oliver, though, "There are some mirrors there," Keoghan told Vanity Fair.

"It’s quite funny when he plays that moment where his parents are on drugs. It’s quite a moment when we realize that he’s been lying," he said.

Of "Murder on the Dancefloor" by the "great" Ellis-Bextor, 44, Keoghan said, "I remember that song coming out years ago when I was a kid, and it being a massive hit as it was. Never did I think I’d be fecking dancing around with no clothes on, moving to the beats of it."

<p>Photographed and Directed by Gordon von Steiner @gvsgvs</p> From L: Bradley Cooper, Natalie Portman, Pedro Pascal, Colman Domingo, Jodie Comer, Lily Gladstone, Greta Lee, Charles Melton, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Jenna Ortega and Barry Keoghan for <em>Vanity Fair</em>'s 30th annual Hollywood issue

Photographed and Directed by Gordon von Steiner @gvsgvs

From L: Bradley Cooper, Natalie Portman, Pedro Pascal, Colman Domingo, Jodie Comer, Lily Gladstone, Greta Lee, Charles Melton, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Jenna Ortega and Barry Keoghan for Vanity Fair's 30th annual Hollywood issue

Related: Sophie Ellis-Bextor Says She 'Wasn't Quite Prepared' for Barry Keoghan's Nude Saltburn Dance to Her Song (Exclusive)

Keoghan also touched on whether he felt objectified by the public due to the scene in the Emerald Fennell-directed film, which has garnered its fair share of awards-show jokes.

"It’s crazy," he said of the attention. "It can be detrimental to the mind and your mental state if you read into it too much or you look at too much stuff being said."

But at the end of the day, "I wouldn’t go there if I wasn’t prepared for that, or if I wasn’t open to receiving what people want to say," Keoghan continued. "I think it shows an act of maturity in your craft, and if it justifies the story and moves it forward, why not? You look at European cinema and they tend to have a lot of scenes that involve nudity, and it’s not a massive thing, really."

"But I think it’s true art. It really is. And it’s true vulnerability as well," the actor explained. "You’re really kind of putting yourself out there in the most vulnerable state. It’s beautiful to look at. I’m not saying it’s because of my body, but it’s freeing to see that body move around in the way it does. It’s like a moving painting, almost."

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