Barry Keoghan attends the 81st Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 07, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California Source: Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Barry Keoghan Reunites with 'Saltburn ' Director for Vampire-Themed Fashion Shoot

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 3 MIN.

"Saltburn" actor Barry Keoghan has reunited with the film's director Emerald Fennell for a fashion shoot inspired by his character's "vampire" tendencies.

The movie made virtual vampirism a central metaphor, whether scheming Oliver Quick was slurping male essence from a bathtub drain, smacking his lips over menstrual blood, or feeding the members of an aristocratic family one by one to his own monstrous appetites.

W Magazine detailed the looks that Keoghan and Fennell came up with for the shoot – titled, "Lucky for You, I'm a Vampire," a direct quote from the film – for the magazine's "Director's Issue."

The photo spread featured the Irish actor done up like a knight with a Tesco bag by his feet (the idea being that he was "going to the supermarket in armor and a balaclava so that he doesn't get burned to a crisp"), slurping coffee while wearing scarlet elbow-length leather gloves and a matching apron, slouching with bloody mouth and hands over a plate of raw (and presumably human) heart, and bathing in a tub filled with blood while wearing pearls and black, claw-fingered gloves.

Fennell chatted with W about the parallels between Keoghan and his "Saltburn" character, with the magazine noting that, like Oliver Quick, Keoghan – who was brought up "in foster care in Ireland" – "lacked personal familiarity with grand English country estates."

"When I first met him, he sat down and said, 'I am Oliver,'" Fennell recalled Keoghan telling her. "He didn't mean he was the fake Oliver who makes up this story; he meant that he is very familiar with being flung into a situation that feels completely alien."

Director and actor aligned on the set, as well as in the photo shoot, with Fennell reportedly joining Keoghan in the tub.

"Emerald getting in the bath with me is metaphorical for the way she directs," Keoghan mused; "she gets into it with you."

W noted that Keoghan has "worn a succession of dramatic looks on the red carpet - notably a red Louis Vuitton suit with a pearl key chain at the Golden Globes."

"It's all good fun, but there's also strategic intelligence at work," the article said before quoting the actor, who pointed out that "What you wear represents what you're trying to express. The Louis Vuitton suit had this punk rock thing to it, and that opens doors for people to have a vision of you in a movie that they might not have had before. They're like, 'Oh! Maybe he could play that part!'"

Keoghan was fashionably dressed once more, with a vest over his otherwise bare torso, when he shared his experiences with the magazine in a video interview in which he said he "wanted to step up as an actor" by taking the lead role in a film, "which is brilliant," but also acknowledged the challenges along the way – such as navigating the huge manor home where much of the film was shot, a structure that Keoghan said "had forty-eight, forty-nine rooms - I got lost every day."

The actor opened up about his own life, remembering that Marilyn Monroe was a crush from the movies and that "The Basketball Diaries" made him cry.

The two might very well team up yet again. While Fennell declined to say anything about what her next project might be – "I like it to be a fun, corrupting pleasure when I give it to them," she teased – Keoghan expressed confidence in her creative vision and a willingness, the magazine noted, "to strip naked or do whatever else might be required."

Indeed, Keoghan did strip naked for "Saltburn" in several scenes, including the ending, which showed him dancing through the halls of the manor house while wearing nothing but a smile. It's a scene that's already etched such a deep impression into the culture that it sent the song it was set to, Sophie Ellis-Bextor's two-decade-old "Murder on the Dancefloor," onto the charts anew.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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