Summary

  • Keoghan’s performance in Saltburn revealed his inability to convincingly do a Scouse accent, raising concerns about his rumored casting as Ringo Starr in Sam Mendes’ Beatles biopic.
  • Despite accent issues, Keoghan’s talent and eccentricity could make him a great choice to play the wildcard Ringo in the four-film biopic series alongside other strong actors.
  • Keoghan’s potential as Ringo might improve if he focuses on perfecting the Liverpool dialect and working with a dialect coach for Mendes’ ambitious Beatles project.



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Barry Keoghan is rumored for a huge role in an upcoming four-film biopic, but he’s not the right casting choice for the part – and his performance in Saltburn proves it. Keoghan has enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom in the past few years. After giving standout supporting turns in Dunkirk and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Keoghan played a Marvel superhero in Eternals, debuted an exciting new Joker in The Batman, and earned an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Banshees of Inisherin.


Keoghan reached new levels of fame with his turn as duplicitous Oliver Quick in Emerald Fennell’s darkly comedic psychological thriller Saltburn. That was a mostly great performance, but it had one glaring flaw that makes Keoghan the wrong choice for his next rumored casting. Keoghan is named as the top choice to play Ringo Starr in the rumored cast for Sam Mendes’ ambitious four-film Beatles biopic, but Keoghan already proved in Saltburn that he can’t do a convincing Scouse accent. As a Merseyside native, Keoghan’s potential casting as a Beatle in Mendes’ biopic series worries me.

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What Was Saltburn Really About?

Saltburn is one of the most baffling movies of the year, with mixed messaging about its themes of the class divide. So, what is it all about?


Barry Keoghan Is Rumored To Play Ringo Starr In Sam Mendes’ Beatles Biopic

Mendes is making one movie per Beatle

The Beatles on the cover of Abbey Road


Mendes is planning to tell the Beatles’ story across four separate biopics: one for John Lennon, one for Paul McCartney, one for George Harrison, and one for Ringo Starr. It’s one of the most ambitious undertakings in recent Hollywood history, with a lot of potential for failure. If the first movie doesn’t do well, then there won’t be much hope for the next three. Like most cinematic anthologies, it could end up being hit-and-miss, with some great entries and some disappointing entries.

Mendes’ track record is strong enough to hope for the best, but the rumored casting is a dubious sign. The rumored cast, suggested by The InSneider, names Harris Dickinson as Lennon, Paul Mescal as McCartney, Charlie Rowe as Harrison, and Keoghan as Starr. These are all fine actors – and interesting choices for their respective roles within the Fab Four – but Keoghan’s turn in Saltburn proved that he probably shouldn’t be playing a Beatle.


Saltburn Demonstrated Keoghan’s Inability To Do A Convincing Scouse Accent

His accent is as inconsistent as the film’s tone

The Beatles are the most iconic Scousers who ever lived, so whoever plays them in a movie should at least be able to do a convincing Scouse accent. Oliver was supposed to be a Scouser in Saltburn, but Keoghan’s accent is as inconsistent as the film’s tone. The idea was to contrast Oliver’s stereotypically working-class accent with the posh-sounding Queen’s English accents of the Catton family. But Fennell would’ve gotten the same effect if she’d let Keoghan play the part with his native Irish accent.


Keoghan’s accent, constantly switching between Scouse and Irish, was pretty distracting all throughout Saltburn. It was tough to concentrate on what he was saying, because he kept changing the way he was saying it. And it’ll be even more distracting when he’s playing one of the most famous people to ever come from Liverpool. And the Beatles aren’t just Scousers; they have a very particular Scouse dialect from the south of Liverpool that’s much subtler than the standard Scouse accent. Keoghan’s a great actor, but he’s arguably a bad choice to play a Beatle.

Barry Keoghan’s next movie is a drama called
Bird
.

Why Barry Keoghan Could Still Be A Great Ringo

Keoghan could nail Ringo’s eccentricity

Ringo Starr smoking a cigarette in Let It Be (1970)
Image via Disney


Accent concerns aside, Keoghan could still be a great choice to play Ringo in Mendes’ epic Beatles biopic. For starters, he’s a great actor. Accents are just one aspect of the complicated craft of acting. In terms of getting into a character’s mind, walking a mile in their shoes, and convincing an audience that the make-believe is real, Keoghan is one of the best actors working today. Despite his inconsistent accent, his performance in Saltburn was mesmerizing. And with his signature eccentricity, he could be an ideal casting choice for the famously eccentric Ringo.

Ringo was essentially the wildcard of the Beatles, and it’s easy to imagine Keoghan playing the wildcard brilliantly in an ensemble with Mescal, Dickinson, and Rowe. It’ll be interesting to see how all these actors interact with each other within the roles of the Beatles – Keoghan included – and what their on-screen chemistry will be like. Plus, Keoghan might have learned from the accent-related mistakes of Saltburn. There was plenty of criticism, so he might focus more on getting the accent right this time around, or even hire a dialect coach to help him nail Starr’s particular vocal inflections.


Source: The InSneider

Saltburn 2023 Movie Poster

Saltburn

Written and directed by Emerald Fennell, Saltburn is a 2023 comedy-thriller film. When Oxford student Oliver Quick is invited to his friend Felix’s family’s wealthy estate, Saltburn, for a summer vacation, he is drawn into the world of eccentric characters and increasingly chaotic events as his obsession with Felix comes to a head.

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