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Barry Keoghan an ‘inspiration’ after tough upbringing in 13 foster homes

One fan tweeted: “Did not know about @BarryKeoghan’s upbringing in foster care. One never knows what hardships growing up will lead us to how we end up as adults”.

Barry Keoghan poses in the press room during the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton earlier this month after The Banshees of Inisherin won the Best Picture award. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/FilmMagic© FilmMagic

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Barry Keoghan has been hailed an “inspiration” after an old interview about his tough childhood resurfaced amid yesterday’s Oscars buzz.

The 95th Academy Awards nominees were announced yesterday, with the Dubliner included among the Best Supporting Actor hopefuls for his role as Dominic Kearney in The Banshees of Inisherin.

His co-star Brendan Gleeson was nominated in the same category, while Kerry Condon and Colin Farrell earned spots on the Best Supporting Actress and Best Actor in a Leading Role shortlists, respectively.

With nine Oscar nods, the Martin McDonagh flick made history with the most nominations for an Irish film.

Fans were immensely proud of the Irish talent and took to social media in their droves to congratulate the actors on their achievements. In particular, many praised Barry as an “incredible” actor.

However, in the midst of the excitement, one Twitter user took the opportunity to remind others that the 30-year-old's pathway to success hasn’t been easy.

Author James Leighton shared a clip from a “remarkable” 2018 Late Late Show interview in which Barry spoke about losing his mother, who died of a heroin overdose aged 31.

“It was a new thing and people didn’t know the effects,” he explained.

“The drugs hit the area and it affected all the families and she was one of them that got caught.

“I was living with my Nanny at that stage. I was 12. She was very young. She was 31. I have great memories of her and I’m very proud of her”.

The actor also opened up about how he and his brother Eric were moved around 13 different foster homes between the ages of 5 and 12 before moving in with their Nanny Patricia, aunt Lorraine, and older sister Gemma in the inner-city area of Summerhill.

“We went into foster care and the families we went to were good to us. We went to a few of them. They kept us together, which was great.

“Every family was good to us. As a kid, you don’t know what’s happening; you get attached and then boom – let's move over here.

“It’s a weird one. It’s only when you get older, you can look back and get a bit of perspective on it.

“So, I don’t have a hometown,” he joked before adding: “I’m only messing, I do. Summerhill”.

Many Twitter users were moved by the interview, with one writing: “Did not know about @BarryKeoghan’s upbringing in foster care. One never knows what hardships growing up will lead us to how we end up as adults.

“He stole the show in #BansheesofInisherin. Well done. #Oscars2023”.

Another added: “He moved us all when he said ‘There goes that dream’ in the movie.

“Gladly, he pursued & is living his dream in real life in spite of all that he endured after losing his mum. Well done boy, well done indeed”.

Keoghan discovered his passion for acting after getting cast in a play while attending O’Connell School on North Richmond Street in Dublin.

“In school at O’Connell’s I got the whiff of the spark, getting the chance to get on stage and having people laughing with me, rather than me just messing about in class,” he told independent.ie last year.

“In first year, I did a play, My Babysitter Is An Alien. That was the first time I ever acted and I just loved the feeling of it. I was 12 or 13 and O’ Connell’s has a mad big stage so the production used to be massive, with lights and sound... I had that feeling of ‘this is really good — I like this’.

Barry caught his big break when he played the infamous cat killer Wayne in Love/Hate, and he joined The Factory acting school shortly afterwards.

He later went on to secure roles in The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, opposite Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, followed by parts in Christopher Nolan’s box-office smash Dunkirk, sealing his star status.

Now with an Oscar nomination under his belt for The Banshees of Inisherin, Barry has come a long way from his days in foster care and dedicates his success to his five-month-old son, Brando, whom he shares with girlfriend Alyson.

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