Hasty Pudding Crown’s Barry Keoghan as their 2024 Man of the Year
“I may have just shit my pants; maybe I did,” quipped this year’s Hasty Pudding Man of the Year winner, Barry Keoghan, as he stepped on stage for the annual roast last Friday night, with the crowd roaring with laughter from that point on. 31-year-old Keoghan may be having a stunning year thanks to his first major lead actor role with Oliver in Saltburn, but the credits on his resume speak for themselves. And while most of the roast consisted around jokes relating to the iconic film that dropped this year, including the first-ever Baftatub Award, and several references to “Jacob Elordi’s milk,” it was made clear this evening why Keoghan fully is deserving of this award. Upon the news that Keoghan was the recipient this year, the opening night of the 175’th production by the oldest theatrical organization in the United States, (third oldest in the world), sold out within twenty minutes.
The ceremony culminated in the premiere of the latest production, “Heist, Heist, Baby,” which was kicked off with the iconic roast produced to kick off the night. From Keoghan fighting off the Mr. Irish Potato Famine to the tune of Shipping up to Boston, ala Dropkick Murphy’s. Or performing “The Killing of a Sacred Deer: The Sequel” with a reading of a two-minute rom-com. The run-through of the “rom-com” ended hilariously with Keoghan seemingly giving up and slamming his face down into a plate of freshly made pasta on stage, after a seeming attempt at a Lady and the Tramp moment. All of it was done with ease and humor for all parties involved. And for what Keoghan proclaimed was his first time ever on stage live, he crushed it and had the crowd in rip-roaring laughter throughout.
Considering the theatricals of Hasty Pudding and its roots, Keoghan is a flawless choice to receive the honor this year. His stunning repertoire ranges from playing The Joker opposite Robert Pattinson to time spent in the Marvel community too with Chloe Zhao’s Eternals. He’s played in films opposite an endless list of long-time Hollywood heavyweights like Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, fellow Golden Globe nominee Cillian Murphy, and the list just goes on and on. Currently, he finds myself co-starring with the fellow buzzing actor, Austin Butler in the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks-produced series Master of The Air, and there is so much more to come from this talent in 2024.
While Keoghan has done so much in the last few years, with a definite highlight including his 2023 Bafta win for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Dominic in the film The Banshees of Inshirin, his career wasn’t an easy run. In a press conference post his roast, when I asked Keoghan if there was any advice he would give to young adults in Ireland trying to break out, especially considering his rough upbringing, Keoghan responded with the following. “Advice I’d give to younger people in general that have a love for it, is to stay kind of persistent. Perseverance, don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. And it’s all worth it. I don’t want to sound like I’m at the top or anything, but for me it was, I got to express my character, believed in myself. And I broke through. So yeah, just do what you love and don’t let anyone kind of pull at that, dim light on it.”
Keoghan also gave a great amount of insight into his time working on Saltburn, his first leading man role, about the amount of improvisation. In response to another attendee of the press conference, he quipped when asked about which he prefers, the line-by-line scripted or when improvisation is preferred. Something obviously that comes to ease to him as had been seen in the earlier roast. Keoghan said, “With Emerald (Fennel, director of Saltburn), it was more, we wanted to take it to a new level of obsession. The outline was there. I wanted to look like I didn’t know where to go or what I was doing. I wanted to find it in the force. We only did one take with the grave and poor grave.”
Overall, it was a great night, and Keoghan is only going up from here. We’re ready to continue to see him shine. The Woman of the Year’s ceremony will go down tomorrow, with a roast of her own to come for the stunning Annette Bening. A long time coming for Bening will surely be a treat for those in attendance. Be it her early days in the iconic American Beauty to my personal favorite in 20th Century Women, the recipients for this year are a flawless pair.
“Heist, Heist, Baby” runs until March 3rd, 2024, at Farkas Hall, with performances Tuesday through Friday at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and ending off the week with Sunday matinees at 3:00 pm. The entire show schedule can be found here. The show will also make their move to NYC (that ticket link can be found here,) and they’ll even be making an international appearance when performing several shows in Bermuda from March 13th-March 15th of this year (you can email email@example.com for information on tickets for these shows).