He’s the loveable Irish pop star who made a name for himself in the ’90s and is still going strong with his band Boyzone. And while he may also have a successful TV career underway thanks to his judging role on X Factor Australia, things are starting to change for Ronan Keating.
The singer now has acting under his belt with his first feature length movie, Goddess, about to hit cinemas. When BuzzFeed met up with him to discuss all about the transition he’d flown straight from New York to a live TV slot on Loose Women, to meet us at a London hotel. And despite clearly being tired, just finishing off a quick bite to eat, Ronan was as welcoming as you imagine.
We eased him into proceedings by making him take our Which Boy Band Should You Be In? quiz, and he was good enough not to act totally horrified when he got One Direction.
Ronan was keen to talk about his new life as an actor, although lamented missing out on previous big films such as Moulin Rouge! and The Hobbit, and happily divulged all about his bottom-baring scene.
Goddess is your first feature length film. How did you find it?
Ronan Keating: It was amazing on so many different levels, to finally have a producer and director that had faith in me. That was really what excited me the most, because I’d been doing readings forever… Forever, forever. And I didn’t have any opportunities, it didn’t happen for me… Like, Baz Luhrmann flew me to New York for Moulin Rouge!, I read for The Hobbit. I’ve read for big films but I didn’t get there.
Getting this opportunity has allowed for even more opportunities to happen and I needed that, it was getting that one director to believe in me, so it’s been amazing. Then getting on set and actually filming, the experience, working with the cast, working with the team, it was a dream come true for me, I loved every moment of it. I didn’t want the project to end.
What was the biggest challenge for you?
RK: The biggest challenge for me, as I guess it is for any actor, (is to) forget yourself and become that character. So every morning you have to wake up and forget who you are and be that character until it’s time to not be any more. And that’s quite a skill. I loved it, I loved every moment of it.
And obviously Goddess has a musical aspect to it, do you think that made the transition from pop star to actor that little bit easier for you?
RK: Well I guess there was a good transition there, yeah. I mean hence why I would have done Moulin Rouge! as well. It would have been perfect, to have that transition, you know… performing, singing as well as acting. But I wasn’t ready back then by any means. So yeah it definitely helped. But I was delighted, because if you see the film you’ll see I don’t actually sing that much in it. Laura (Michelle Kelly) sings about seven songs in the film but I only have about two, really. Beautiful songs all the same but I was happier to do more (acting)… because I didn’t want that to be the reason that I got the role. I wanted to feel that I was good enough as an actor. That was important to me.
So now you’ve managed to get your break and cross over the line, is it something you’re looking to do more of?
RK: For me, yeah. I have more confidence in that situation now. I get reads all the time. I can digest them, I can take them on board, I know what I need to do. I know if I’m given something worthwhile that I’m worthy of what they’re looking for.
Is acting something you’ll be concentrating on now?
RK: Definitely, I have another feature next year. I’ve got quite a few things happening there in that (acting) world. I’m still working in music… I’ve got a new album with Boyzone at the end of the year, I’ve got a solo album next year. So there’s still things happening but I’m definitely spending more time in that world.
Have your children been able to see this film?
RK: Yeah, the kids saw it. The kids were actually on set, which was lovely. They were actually on the set where I’m in bed with Laura, Elspeth my on screen wife. So they got to see how it worked, which is a good thing, you know, I think that’s healthy. Because nothing was happening under the sheets but the kids were right there, they were watching. It was nice, they were giggling away, I remember well but it was good for them, they get to see what happens. So they know every time they see it they know that’s not me.
The two children in the film are horrors, are your children anything like that, does it emulate real life for you?
RK: No. Those boys weren’t even like that, they were acting. They’re brilliant little actors. My first scene was with the boys in the kitchen making breakfast for mummy. That was my very first scene in the film and so they say “you should never work with animals and children” – my first scene was with the boys, these two twins. You can imagine people thinking they were terrors, (but) they were a dream to work with. I had so much fun. I guess being a dad I could understand kids. I literally got there and was playing with toys on the floor with them before we shot the scenes so we could get to know each other. It was brilliant.
And obviously you had “that” scene with the apron. Was that quite daunting? (Ronan bares his bottom and breaks wind in one scene, shown above)
RK: Incredibly daunting! That was the second day of shooting and it was a baptism of fire, believe me, I was scared. But it was kind of liberating at the same time.
Were you ever tempted to get a bottom double?
RK: [Laughs] Not at all, no way! I do all my own stunts, absolutely.
What’s next for you?
RK: I’ve got Boyzone, dates for the next six weeks. I’m working on the Boyzone album as we speak. (There’s) X Factor Australia – August 1st or 2nd I head down there for three months. I’ve got a project at the end of the year and then a little project for next year. So yeah, lots happening. It’s a bit busy.