Saltburn’s Director Asked Barry Keoghan Some Wild Questions When He Auditioned [Exclusive]


Fennell said that she likes to cast actors — and indeed hire any of her crew — based on her personal rapport with them. If she can communicate well right off the bat, then they’ll work well on her film. She had a very positive experience with Keoghan, recalling:

“The way that I like to work with actors, not just actors though, any head of department, is I like to get to know them, which sounds so twee and silly, but I mean ask questions. If I meet actors, for example, [I want] to see if we’re going to have an honest conversation, if we’re going to be able to be honest with each other, if we can get into the place, which is exciting. So I’ll ask things like, ‘Do you really like being famous for all your protestations?'”

That’s a strange question to receive during a job interview, but it makes sense, given the context and the nature of the job in question. More than anything though, Fennell just wants to have a conversation and her “interview” is really just a way to break the ice and bring up some complex topics. If an actor says they like being famous, the conversation has begun. Fennell can also get a little grim. She explained:

“Or you ask, ‘Do you prefer your mother or your father? Which one would you mind least if they died?’ Whatever it is, the kind of things that you want to see if people are […] There are lots of actors who are amazing, but they’re naturally reserved, and they don’t want to give you that stuff. But Barry, he came in and we were just right into it right away.”

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