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Barry Keoghan says he brought Irish sense of humour to series Masters Of The Air

Actor Barry Keoghan has said he was able to bring an Irish sense of humour to his character Lieutenant Curtis Biddick in new TV drama Masters Of The Air.

The Dublin-born 31-year-old, best known for his roles in Saltburn (2023) and The Banshees Of Inisherin (2022), stars in the new Apple TV+ series based on Donald L Miller’s book of the same name.

Speaking to the PA news agency, he said: “(With) Biddick, I’d like to say he kind of brings that humour in these very extreme situations, it’s especially when death is there.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2023 – Press Room – London
Barry Keoghan poses with the award for Best Supporting Actor for The Banshees of Inisherin in the press room at the 76th British Academy Film Awards held at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in 2023 (Ian West/PA)

“As an Irishman we tend to bring the humour in a lot to kind of soften it.

“So I think Biddick eased a lot of stuff and brought that firecracker kind of thing into it.”

The series, set in the Second World War, involves action shots with flying planes and Keoghan described these scenes as “intense”.

He explained: “It was quite a tight space and you’ve gotta know every single switch around you and it’s making it look organic up there (that) was the trick.

“And you’ve got, I think, four or five layers on and you’re sweating, which kind of adds to it.

“It was definitely a tight space. Minimal.

“It’s (the acting) all within the eyes and if you can kind of convey what’s going on through the eyes I think you’re doing a good thing.

“But yeah it was quite intense. Definitely quite intense.”

The TV programme, filmed in England, tells the true story of the airmen from the 100th bomb group and follows 10 of the young men from the US Air Force as they wedge themselves into B-17’s to conduct bombing raids on Nazi Germany in 1943.

Keoghan’s character Curtis is a pilot who helps acclimate Major Gale Cleven, played by American actor Austin Butler, to the brotherhood upon his arrival.

The Irish actor also stars alongside Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle, Bel Powley, Rafferty Law and Ncuti Gatwa, among others.

Saving Private Ryan director Steven Spielberg and Hollywood actor Tom Hanks executively produced the TV series and the screenplay was written by John Orloff.

Last year Keoghan was nominated for an Oscar in his role as Dominic in Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees Of Inisherin and won a Bafta award for best supporting actor in the role.

He is set to star in Andrea Arnold’s upcoming drama Bird and in 2023 he played protagonist Oliver Quick in Emerald Fennell’s thriller Saltburn, starring opposite Australian actor Jacob Elordi.

He also has credits in The Batman (2022), Marvel movie Eternals (2021), horror The Green Knight and mystery film The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017).

Comprising nine hour-long episodes, Master Of The Air will debut on Apple TV+ with two episodes on Friday January 26, followed by a new episode weekly every Friday through to March 15.