Barry Keoghan’s Role in Sabrina Carpenter’s ‘Please Please Please’ Music Video Is Giving Off Some Serious Heat

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When it comes to getting cast in a music video, certain things can help—like having an Oscar nomination or dating the singer. Unfortunately, not all of us can be Barry Keoghan. The “Saltburn” and “Banshees of Inisherin” actor just helped blow up the internet by starring alongside girlfriend Sabrina Carpenter in the very cool, very Tarantino-esque video for Carpenter’s new song, “Please Please Please.” But even without Keoghan’s bona fides, there are ways to prepare yourself for a music video gig or audition. 

When you think of music videos, the first thing that comes to mind might be dancing, but there are ways besides choreographed booty shaking in which acting in a music video differs from acting in other types of projects.

“Having a dance background of course helps when it comes to videos that feature dancing,” says Kristen Paladino, a veteran casting director who has cast scores of music videos. “But really, adaptability is key. Depending on a director’s treatment, a video can be highly visual and abstract, dance-oriented, or more story-oriented.” 

Paladino has noticed a major shift toward narrative. She says, “The industry has really changed rapidly. We’ve come a long way from the hip-hop videos of the 1990s. A lot of the best videos out there today are really more like short films.” 

Carpenter’s “Please Please Please” music video features Carpenter and Keoghan as a pair of criminals à la films like “Bonnie and Clyde” and “True Romance.” And Ariana Grande’s just-dropped “The Boy Is Mine” video flips the script on TV’s sexiest stalker—“You” star Penn Badgley—by casting him as a politician stalked by Grande’s obsessed fan. These are prime examples of the new narrative videos drawing millions of views.

But just because a video is narrative-driven doesn’t mean that actors don’t have to shift their approach. “A lot of it is acting without dialogue,” the CD says. “For an actor, it can be hardest to nail that.” Doing so requires an actor to consider how they can express emotion with their bodies. “The key is to be able to convey feeling through movement,” she says. 

If you are cast in a music video, expect a breakneck pace. “Projects are fast and furious,” Paladino says. “And hours are long, so be ready for that. But the time it takes between shooting and winning awards is remarkably quick.”

It’s that latter aspect that should interest actors looking to get noticed. “The quality of videos these days is really astounding,” she says. “They’re beautiful pieces worthy of awards. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?”

Kristen Paladino is the founder of Paladino Casting. The company’s films have screened at the world’s top film festivals including Sundance, AFI, Tribeca, Cannes, SXSW, NYFF, and many more.

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