Emerald Fennell Cast Barry Keoghan in ‘Saltburn’ After His ‘Killing of a Sacred Deer’ Performance: He’s a ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Actor

Emerald Fennell found her crown jewel in Barry Keoghan for “Saltburn.” Fennell, who won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for her feature debut “Promising Young Woman,” told Vanity Fair that she cast Keoghan in sophomore film “Saltburn” after seeing 2017 film “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.”Yorgos Lanthimos’ body horror thriller first pitted Keoghan and Colin Farrell side-by-side prior to their respective Oscar-nominated performances in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Keoghan portrayed a disturbed teen with seemingly supernatural abilities to kill those who wronged him.

The actor went on to play the Joker in “The Batman.”“I just thought, ‘That’s a once-in-a-lifetime performer.

There’s no equivalent,’” Fennell recalled of first seeing Keoghan onscreen.

“He’s just so compelling.

He’s got a kind of sex appeal and a vulnerability and a physical presence and a sort of darkness, or he can at least communicate these things in a way that is very rare.

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