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Barry Keoghan discusses ‘true vulnerability’ of nudity scene in Saltburn

Barry Keoghan has said he feels his nudity scene in Saltburn was “true vulnerability” as he paid homage to the viral moment in Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue photoshoot.

In Emerald Fennell’s black comedy, the Irish actor plays a student at Oxford who becomes enthralled by a wealthier classmate and pays a visit to his sprawling estate.

At the end of the film, he can be seen dancing around the manor house in the nude to Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s hit Murder On The Dance Floor, propelling the song back into the charts.

In a video clip promoting Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood issue, a host of global actors can be seen posing and chatting before it ends with Keoghan in the buff.

At first, the actor has his back turned to the camera before he turns around to smile while clasping his hands in front of his crotch.

Discussing how he feels about the public’s reaction to the film’s scene, Keoghan, 31, told the US outlet: “It’s crazy. 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 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.

“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. 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.”

The actor admitted he had been more concerned about the dancing than the nudity but said he was “pretty impressed” at how his moves came across.

“I was afraid to move my hips and move my body in a certain way but the set was made quite comfortable for me,” he added.

“Once the camera goes up I always feel a bit safe, and I have the licence to kind of waltz in that environment.”

Keoghan also praised his co-star Jacob Elordi, who plays his wealthy classmate Felix Catton in the film, saying: “He’s my baby boy. I love Jacob. He’s one of my best friends.”

He added that the Euphoria star has “always got his back” as they both navigate their stratospheric rise to fame.

Keoghan’s role in Saltburn earned him critical praise along with Bafta and Golden Globe nominations for best actor.

Last year, he won the best supporting actor Bafta and was nominated for an Oscar in the same category for his role in tragi-comedy The Banshees Of Inisherin.

Colin Farrell (L) Barry Keoghan in The Banshees Of Inisherin
Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan appeared in The Banshees Of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures/PA)

Speaking about adjusting to his swift rise to fame, he said: “It’s new for me, man. It’s quite a scary one as well, because I’m not used to this much attention.

“It’s overwhelming, if I’m quite honest. It’s almost a different kind of life that you’ve got to be living now.

“I just want to make movies and fecking play parts and work with filmmakers, and not focus on this noise too much”.

Keoghan also appears alongside Hollywood stars including Jodie Comer, Bradley Cooper, Pedro Pascal, Natalie Portman, Lily Gladstone, Jenna Ortega, Colman Domingo, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Greta Lee and Charles Melton in Vanity Fair’s latest Hollywood Issue.