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Jacob Elordi subtly shades Barry Keoghan by naming Emerald Fennell’s first choice for Saltburn

Elordi revealed which high-profile star Fennell originally wanted to play lead role

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 07 January 2024 10:44 GMT
Saltburn trailer

Saltburn actor Jacob Elordi has named the actor who almost played the lead role instead of Barry Keoghan.

Keoghan stars in the film as Oxford university student Oliver Quick, who is taken under the wing of aristocratic fellow student Felix Catton (Elordi) for a summer of debauchery on his luxury estate.

The actor earnt a Golden Globe nomination for his role, and while the film has proved divisive among viewers since its cinema release and ensuing addition to Prime Video, it seems many are in agreement that the Banshees of Inisherin and Killing of a Sacred Deer actor has turned in yet another impressive, if eybrow-raising, performance.

However, his role in the film almost wasn’t to be – Elordi has candidly revealed during a Vogue UK interview with his co-star that he was not the first choice.

When Elordi asked Keoghan “what drew” him to the film, the latter replied: “When I met Emerald, she told me that she had you kind of down to do it. So, Emerald, yourself and the script... what about you?”

Elordi then said: “Definitely yeah, it was Emerald,” and added, with laughter: “Then she said she wanted Timothée Chalamet for it. And I said have you thought about Barry Keoghan?”

While The Independent praised Saltburn upon release, it received mixed reviews elsewhere – and the audience reaction proved equally as divisive, with many questioning the film’s depiction of class via scenes designed to shock.

However, it was agreed that Keoghan’s performance, as well as Rosamund Pike’s supporting role, was deserving of praise. Both received Golden Globe nominations earlier this month for their roles.

Fennell herself described Saltburn as “a very British tale of excess”, and the film certainly goes to some extreme places. These scenes were teased in reviews of the film, with Awards Watch founder Erik Anderson calling Keoghan’s “full-tilt performance... pure bravery”.

Barry Keoghan in ‘Saltburn’ (Warner Bros Pictures)

Saltburn is available to stream on Prime Video.

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