A Thirst for the Irish


Sabrina Carpenter may already be dating an Irish hunk: The actress and singer attended the Vanity Fair Oscars party with the Irish actor Barry Keoghan last Sunday, adding fuel to rumors of their romantic involvement.

But any feelings Ms. Carpenter may have for Mr. Keoghan did not stop her from saying she had eyes for Cillian Murphy, another Irishman, in an interview with Vanity Fair filmed before the party. Ms. Carpenter joked that if she saw Mr. Murphy at the event, she would leave with him.

After a video of the interview was shared on Instagram, Mr. Keoghan left a comment. It had no words, only two emojis: a person with a hand raised and a shamrock. Another user commented, “She has a thing for the Irish just like me.”

Mr. Keoghan, 31, and Mr. Murphy, 47, along with Paul Mescal, 28, and Andrew Scott, 47, have recently infused popular culture with big Irish energy by starring in the films “Saltburn,” “Oppenheimer” and “All of Us Strangers.” As a result, those actors have ushered in a moment for Irish crushes.

Some of them seem to have leaned into their reputation. Mr. Keoghan appeared on a version of the cover of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue butt naked. His body was only slightly more clothed in a Valentine’s Day campaign by the dating app Bumble; those images, when shared on social media, had some people drooling in the comments.

Weeks ago, Mr. Mescal was seen walking the streets of New York in short shorts and a cropped sweatshirt that revealed the hair on his lower torso (a patch some suggestively refer to as a “happy trail”).

Olamide Asanpaola, 26, recently shared a video on TikTok in which she gushed about Mr. Keoghan’s ability to “look directly into the camera and like try to” seduce you — only instead of “seduce,” she used a four-letter word not suitable for publication.

Ms. Asanpaola, a musician in New York, said in an interview that Irish men like Mr. Keoghan have attractive qualities beyond charisma. “They just seem so progressive,” she said, and “they carry themselves with such grace.”

Bailey Kormick, 26, wrote in a caption for a video that she shared on TikTok, “Irish men just hit different.” In an interview, Ms. Kormick, a marketing manager in Washington, D.C., who is of Irish descent, said that might have something to do with their accent. “I feel like it’s a little bit sexier and rustic,” she said.

Some admirers of Mr. Murphy said they were attracted to the Oscar winner because of another feature: his eyes. Or, as Hayden Reis, a 20-year-old student in New York, put it, “those beautiful blue eyes that put you in a trance.”

Noelia Caceres, 26, who works at a mental health clinic in Miami, echoed this sentiment. “Cillian Murphy’s eyes, my god,” she said, adding that he and other Irish actors have an exciting charisma onscreen.

Ms. Caceres noted that she has crushes on people of all backgrounds and that she isn’t fetishizing Irish men, but being playful. “We love to joke around,” she said.

The attention has been lavished not only on celebrities, but also on some less famous men in Ireland. In the two years since James Doyle, 21, started his TikTok account, he has gained some 1.3 million followers by posting lighthearted videos showing snippets of his day-to-day life in Leitrim, about two and a half hours from Dublin.

Mr. Doyle, whose ginger hair is styled in a mullet, said he has “a large American audience.” He thinks part of that has to do with his “country accent.”

“I think the major appeal to Americans of Irish lads is that we have kind of a sense of mystery, mostly because they can’t understand our accent,” he said.

Sarah Geraghty, 39, a communications adviser and a former weddings columnist at The Irish Times, said many people swoon over Irish men because “they have this uncontrived, almost peculiarly Irish, modesty about them.”

“I think Cillian Murphy’s Oscars speech really distilled all that,” she said, describing the actor’s remarks — which included a shout-out to his home country — as understated and delivered with grace.

Andrea Bo, a 25-year-old medical assistant in Houston, said she was one of many people planning to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day this weekend. Ahead of the holiday, which is on Sunday, Ms. Bo posted on the social media platform X a photo of a green T-shirt that was a play on the phrase “Kiss Me I’m Irish,” with the word “Irish” crossed out and the word “Latina” below it. In a caption, she referred to the shirt as her Saint Patrick’s Day outfit.

Do her holiday plans involve meeting an Irish cutie? “Fingers crossed,” Ms. Bo said.

Leave a Comment