Barry Keoghan is only in “The Batman” for a few moments, but when it was revealed he was playing the Joker, it immediately stole the show. Though it turns out he had auditioned to play the film’s actual villain, The Riddler.
In an interview with British GQ on Monday, the star of “Eternals,” “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” and “Dunkirk” revealed he sent in an unsolicited audition tape or screen test of him dressed as The Riddler. At the time he made the video, Jonah Hill had been cast to play the villain (the role ultimately went to Paul Dano). And after sending it in to producers and hearing nothing for months, he finally got a call from his agent telling him,” “’The Batman’ wants you to play the Joker – but you cannot tell anyone.”
You can check out the tape released via British GQ above. In it Keoghan dons a pair of green suspenders and wields a cane as he saunters through an elevator and in slow motion down an office hallway, flashing his best swagger and sneer as though he were a Droog from “A Clockwork Orange.” The video ends with him turning a corner out of sight and then returning with a smear of blood on his cheek.
Of course, the video gave director Matt Reeves another idea, and Keoghan, should he find any more specific details about the planned sequel, is ready for more.
“As soon as that call comes,” Keoghan said, “I’m there man, I’m there.”
Reeves did eventually release a deleted scene with Keoghan as Joker, and he also discussed how he viewed the character compared to how others have portrayed the now iconic comic book character. He was even impressed that his mere five minutes of screen time allowed him to be ranked at No. 4 on a list of the top actors to portray Joker.
“I wanted some sort of human in there behind the makeup,” Keoghan said. “I want people to relate to him… [to know] this is a façade he puts on.”
Keoghan also said elsewhere in his interview that he hopes he might land a part in Taika Waititi’s “Star Wars” movie and was uncertain about his future in the MCU after Marvel did not reveal any details about a second “Eternals” film at their latest D23 presentation.
Check out the video of Keoghan above and the full interview with British GQ here.