'Happens In This Game': Barry Keoghan Reveals Why He Quit Role In Ridley Scott's Gladiator 2

Barry Keoghan explains why he missed out on Gladiator 2 role: "It's a shame."

Published on May 25, 2024  |  02:45 PM IST |  47.6K
Barry Keoghan (via imdb)
Barry Keoghan (via imdb)

Barry Keoghan, the talented actor known for his role in Saltburn, recently opened up about why he had to step away from Ridley Scott's much-anticipated Gladiator 2. Initially set to join the cast of the belated sequel, Keoghan had to make a difficult decision to prioritize another film, much to the disappointment of fans.

Schedule Conflicts and Tough Choices

In an interview with IndieWire to promote his leading role in Andrea Arnold's Bird, Keoghan confirmed that scheduling conflicts were the primary reason he had to drop out of Gladiator 2. "I am a massive fan of Gladiator and a massive fan of that cast. It's a shame you can't do both," he lamented. Keoghan emphasized the difficulty of juggling multiple projects, especially when they are shooting in different countries, making it nearly impossible to manage both commitments.

An Artistic Experience in Bird

Despite the disappointment of missing out on Gladiator 2, Keoghan expressed no regrets about his choice. He described working on Bird as "the most artistic experience ever for me as an actor." Keoghan praised the unique, unstructured approach of director Andrea Arnold, which he found both challenging and rewarding. "You're in the deep end of it with everyone else. She doesn't give you a script. You don't have lines to learn. It's just pure, spontaneous, and instinctive," he shared, highlighting the immersive and honest nature of the filmmaking process.


Barry Keoghan's decision to focus on Bird over Gladiator 2 underscores the often tough choices actors must make in their careers. While fans may be disappointed, Keoghan's commitment to his craft and the unique artistic opportunities offered by Bird demonstrate his dedication to exploring new and challenging roles. As he continues to make his mark in the industry, audiences can look forward to seeing the depth and authenticity he brings to his performances.

ALSO READ: Cannes Film Festival 2024: Barry Keoghan Flashes Big Smile As His Film Bird Gets Seven-Minute Standing Ovation

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