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Barry Keoghan’s Unsolicited Riddler Audition Landed Him the Role of Joker in ‘The Batman’

"'The Batman' wants you to play the Joker – but you cannot tell anyone," Keoghan's agent told him.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27: Barry Keoghan attends the "The Eternals" UK Premiere at BFI IMAX Waterloo on October 27, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Barry Keoghan

Samir Hussein/WireImage

Barry Keoghan’s debut in the DC Extended Universe has been years in the making.

The star of “The Batman,” with Keoghan playing the Joker in an extended deleted scene, revealed that he originally set out to be cast as another villain. “I wanted to be Riddler,” Keoghan told GQ UK.

Keoghan auditioned for “The Batman” by submitting an unsolicited tape more than three years ago. The “Killing of a Sacred Deer” actor met with producer Dylan Clark and asked him to watch the video, despite the role of Riddler having already been cast with Paul Dano playing the villain. Four months later, and Keoghan received a call from Clark.

“‘The Batman’ wants you to play the Joker – but you cannot tell anyone,” Keoghan’s agent told him.

Keoghan described his take on the Joker as “a bit charming and a bit hurt, a broken-down boy” underneath the massive prosthetics.

“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.”

And while “The Batman 2” has already been greenlit with Matt Reeves returning to direct, Keoghan hasn’t yet been asked to reprise his role of Joker.

“As soon as that call comes, I’m there man, I’m there,” he said.

Plus, working with writer/director Emerald Fennell on the upcoming period piece “Saltburn” has proved to be another experience entirely.

“With a man directing, I can get a bit guarded,” Keoghan said. “[But with women] you allow yourself to be a lot more open and vulnerable, and with being a bit more vulnerable there’s a bit more access to you and to the character. There’s a maternal thing going on there.”

But there is a male writer/director Keoghan is determined to work with: Taika Waititi, on his upcoming “Star Wars” film. “I’m trying to meet him,” Keoghan said. “I’ve been asking everyone.”

Waititi previously explained that his film, set for a December 2025 release date, will “expand” the “Star Wars” universe and focus on entirely new characters.

Watch Keoghan’s original audition for Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” below.

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