A lot of cinephiles online have been buzzing about Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn, and a lot of praise has been going toward Barry Keoghan who plays the lead part of Oliver Quick. As it turns out, Fennell actually wanted someone else to play the lead, co-lead Jacob Elordi thought otherwise.
Talking to British Vogue (via @PopCrave), Elordi explains that Call Me By Your Name star Timothee Chalamet was originally wanted by the director. Elordi says, “Emerald wanted Timothée Chalamet for [Oliver]. And I said ‘have you thought about Barry?’”
With Chalamet having played a young man in an intensely sexual relationship in Call Me By Your Name, it’s understandable to see why he could have been wanted for a film like Saltburn, but Keoghan was undoubtedly the right choice; also being able to play off the meek and shy Oliver who clearly has more things running in his head.
If anything, Keoghan has more than proven himself with his work in films like Banshees of the Inisherin, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and Chernobyl. He was even in line to play the Joker for Matt Reeves’ The Batman, but his part was ultimately shortened to a cameo.
With Saltburn, Keoghan was truly able to access an unhinged performance that left a lot of people buzzing about the film online. We don’t know if Chalamet would have been able to do the same thing, but he clearly has the more wholesome reputation in the box office, with family-friendly films like Little Women and Wonka under his belt.