Barry Keoghan: Nude Saltburn scene was 'true art'

Barry Keoghan believes nude scenes represent "true art" and show "an act of maturity in your craft".

Barry Keogh

Barry Keoghan believes nude scenes represent "true art".

The 31-year-old actor bares all for a memorable dance sequence in 'Saltburn' and while he knew the public's reaction could have a "detrimental" effect on his wellbeing, he was prepared for it and is proud of the "maturity" he has shown in his own work for being comfortable to take on the moment.

Asked how he felt about the reaction to the scene, he told Vanity Fair magazine's 2024 Hollywood issue: "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."

And Barry found the scene "beautiful to look at" and very "freeing".

He added: "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."

Ahead of filming the sequence, the Irish actor had confessed to being more worried about his dancing than stripping off, but he was ultimately "impressed" with how it turned out.

He said: "I’m pretty impressed with how I moved. I was like, 'Wow.'

"In the final moment of the dance, I twirl twice, and if you look at my footwork, it’s linked to boxing. It’s all about footwork and moving the hips and stuff like that.

"That definitely came into factor, subconsciously. I was afraid to move my hips and move my body in a certain way, but the set was made quite comfortable for me.

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

The 'Banshees of Inisherin' star also admitted he's happy to dance naked when he's at home alone.

He said: "I do dance around naked though, in my house. 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 drip hanging about - but I sing out loud, I dance silly and move my body silly."

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