Colin Farrell Shares A Sweet Take On Barry Keoghan, Paul Mescal And Other Irish Actors Finding Success In Hollywood

 Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan in The Banshees of Inisherin.
Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan in The Banshees of Inisherin.

The way things are going lately, we won’t be seeing an Irish goodbye in Hollywood. In recent years in particular, more actors from Ireland have become big stars. From Barry Keoghan’s rise to fame with movies like Saltburn, Eternals and The Banshees of Inisherin, to Paul Mescal leading the next Gladiator movie after coming up with Normal People and Aftersun, to Cillian Murphy’s recently being among 2024 Oscar winners for Oppenheimer, there’s a lot of love for Irish actors as of late. Colin Farrell has just weighed in on the recent trend.

Colin Farrell has been working in Hollywood since the early 2000s after growing up in a suburb in Dublin, Ireland and attending the city’s Gaiety School of Acting before dropping out and starting to rack up acting credits. Here’s what Farrell said about the recent rise in Irish actors:

I mean, we punch so far above our weight, you know? We're only a country of five million people and I don't know, Irish people -- just whether it's through music, the written word, whether it's prose of poetry, film, theater of course, we just -- we have a deep connection to. I think just to the importance of story and to leaning into stories and meanings with which we understand ourselves and the world around us.

While speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Farrell pointed out how amazing it is that the Irish are seemingly taking over Hollywood right now given the country’s size and population. The actor shared a deep pride for the success that has come out of some of the country’s citizens, attributing it to the culture’s love for telling stories. He then spoke specifically about Barry Keoghan, whom he co-starred with not only in the Oscar-nominated 2022 film The Banshees of Inisherin, but also in 2017’s The Killing Of A Sacred Deer:

Barry's off to the races. He's killing it, he's doing amazing. He's great, he's doing amazing. I saw him last week for the first time in close to a year and he seemed like he was in great form, so it was great to see him.

The 31-year-old actor also hails from Dublin, Ireland, where he frequented school plays before going to the local Dublin drama school Bow Street Academy. Keoghan’s acting career got an upgrade in 2017 when he starred in both Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, and his career has only skyrocketed from there, including with his 2023 Oscar nomination for Banshees, his viral role in Saltburn and becoming one of the Eras Tour boyfriends.

Now we haven’t mentioned some other big Irish names that help underline Farrell’s first point: Liam Neeson, Saorise Ronan, Michael Fassbender, Kenneth Branagh, Domhnall Gleeson, Jamie Dornan and Jessie Buckley all hail from Ireland!

Colin Farrell’s latest project is a TV show called Sugar, where the actor looks like a noir Bruce Wayne as he plays a private investigator that takes a case after the disappearance of the granddaughter of a Hollywood producer. Farrell will also star once again as Penguin in The Batman spinoff series named after the character, coming to Max sometime this year. But first, check out Farrell in Sugar, premiering for those with an Apple TV+ subscription on April 5.