Barry Keoghan says becoming father while shooting Saltburn was ‘best time’ of his life

Barry Keoghan has said that becoming a father for the first time while in the middle of shooting Saltburn was the “best time” of his life.

Keoghan, 31, who stars as the middle-class interloper Oliver Quick in the Emerald Fennell film Saltburn, welcomed his baby son in the summer of 2022 while the cast was filming at Drayton House in Northamptonshire.

In an interview with GQ, Keoghan revealed he was allowed a day off when his son was born.

“They gave me a day off,” he laughed. “Good on them! Day off, and straight on to night shoots and night feedings – boom!”

Keoghan’s then-girlfriend, Alyson Sandro, gave birth to their son named Brando in August.

“It was probably the best time of my life, to be quite fair. Havin’ a baby boy, and leadin’ a movie. It was the best time of my life, I must say – yeah,” the Banshees of Inisherin and Killing of a Sacred Deer actor said.

“She’s done a great job and she’s an incredible mother,” Keoghan said of Sandro, whom he reportedly split from last year.

Alyson Sandro and Barry Keoghan at the Oscars in 2023

(Getty Images)

Keoghan said that becoming a father has not changed him, but it does affect the choices he now makes, such as how long he’s willing to be away on location.

“I feel a responsibility. I feel an enormous amount of pressure, which is good,” he said.

“And I can’t get the little boy off my mind. It’s beautiful. Y’know, it’s crazy, but when he looks at you, you feel like the most important person in the world. That’s the effect he has on me. He smiles at you and you’re like, ‘Wow. You’re smiling at me like that? I don’t deserve that, but anyways, thanks.’”

Sharing the inspiration behind the name Brando, Keoghan said he loves the late Godfather actor Marlon Brando, and thought it was a “quite cool” first name.

“To have Brando in your name – feckin’ hell, man! He’s got a lot to live up to, that kid,” Keoghan said.

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“But he’ll live up to it. He has to have that leather jacket and that rock-star attitude, you know what I mean? He’ll have a motorbike when he’s 12, I think.”

“He’ll have a toothpick [in his mouth] walking around seventh grade,” Keoghan joked. “He’ll probably have a toothpick when I get home!”

“Aww, God,” Keoghan said, imagining what Brando will say to him when he grows up: “‘Dad, you’re a s*** actor. You can’t do accents.’”

While Saltburn has received mixed reviews from critics and viewers, Keoghan earnt a Golden Globe nomination for his role, and it seems many are in agreement that the actor has given yet another impressive, if eyebrow-raising, performance.

Barry Keoghan in ‘Saltburn’

(Amazon Studios)

In Saltburn, Keoghan’s character Oliver poses as a scholarship student from a working-class background to win the friendship of Jacob Elordi’s wealthy aristocrat, Felix Catton. Quick joins Catton at his family home, called Saltburn – a large British countryside mansion estate with acres of land – for the summer holidays.

In The Independent’s four-star review of the film, chief film critic Clarisse Loughrey writes: “Barry Keoghan, one of our greatest working weird guys, stars as the canniest of cuckoos in the nest, someone embedded in a family of blue bloods so used to casually manipulating others that they’re utterly defenceless when the tables are turned on them.”

At the end of the film, viewers watch Keoghan dancing around the Saltburn mansion in his birthday suit to Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s “Murder on the Dancefloor”, moving through the grand country house, between its sprawling staircases and grand hallways.

That moment has been turned into a viral TikTok trend, with many viewers recreating that scene. Meanwhile, Ellis-Bextor’s 2001 hit has re-entered the charts as a result of the film’s popularity.

Saltburn is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.