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Late Late Show

Actor Barry Keoghan: '13 foster homes. If that's on paper you'd think "he's destined to mess up"'

The actor’s stock is growing in Hollywood, and he told Tubridy last night how his experiences growing up shaped him.

The Late Late Show / YouTube

YOUNG IRISH ACTOR Barry Keoghan is winning plaudits on both sides of the Atlantic for his strong performances, and told RTÉ’s The Late Late Show last night that he used his upbringing as “ammunition” to motivate himself to succeed.

Having had a landmark year in 2017 with films such as Dunkirk and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the Dublin star described to Ryan Tubridy how he was in and out of foster homes a number of times during his youth and how that experience helped to shape him.

He began by talking about the effect drugs had on his mother, where he was growing up in Summerhill at the time.

Keoghan said: “The drugs hit the area. It affected all the families. She was one of them that got caught. We went into foster care. The families were good to us that we went to. And we went to a few of them.

13 in total. Every family was good to us. As a kid you don’t know what’s happening. You get attached, and then it’s like ‘let’s move over here’… It’s only when you get older you look back and get a bit of perspective.
I was living with my nanny at that stage. I was 12 [when my mother died]. She was was 31. I have great memories of her. I’m very proud of her.

Tubridy put it to Keoghan that she’d be proud of him too, to which he replied: “On the Late Late?”, which was followed by applause.

His grandmother in the audience also got an ovation from the audience.

She said: “I love him. I’m very proud. Mostly me and his aunt [brought him up].”

Keoghan also described how what he faced as a child growing up helped to inspire him going forward.

He said: “13 homes you know. If that’s on paper you’d think ‘he’s destined to mess up’.

But, I went against it, I didn’t dwell on it. I used it as ammunition almost. I hope I inspire younger people, to go ‘whatever you’re into, sports or whatever, just do it’. I just used it. And now I’m representing in the Hills.

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