Sam Keeley is a true citizen of the world. 

He was born in Ireland, frequently works in America, and currently resides in Iceland. 

It's a mark of coronavirus's global ubiquity that all three of those countries are currently in lockdown. 

Keeley is coping through exercise, books, and staying away from the screens – give or take a Play Station... 

At least he has plenty of time to plan his Irish food/travel show – it sounds a cracker, and hopefully we'll be seeing it sooner rather than later. 

Fittingly, Keeley speaks for everyone when he says, "I’m looking forward to drinking a beer with my close friends and being able to hug my family again." 

We'll skál to that! 

My life...

What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?

I’m hoping we come back for a second season of “68 Whiskey.” The response to the first season was incredible and more than I could have hoped for, so thank you to everyone who tuned in. It would be great to take the characters we have created and develop them further.

Aside from that I’m developing a food/travel show with a friend of mine. It will consist of myself travelling around Ireland to famous restaurants, breweries and distilleries and interviewing friends of mine in different lines of work over the finest produce and booze Ireland has to offer. 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

My proudest professional moment so far would have to be, when I realised I could make a living off of acting alone. You come up against so many obstacles to move an inch in this business and I’m very grateful to be able to earn my living this way.

If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?

To be honest I think the individual journey we all go on defines who we are and the journey I’m on has shaped me into the person and actor I am today, so I wouldn’t change anything except I’d maybe start acting earlier if I could. I am always learning so the idea of having more of a head start is appealing.

What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?

I want to write and direct a film about the community I grew up in. There are so many amazing characters I grew up around that have so many rich stories to offer to the world, I’d like to show that side of small town Ireland, a side we don’t see. 

Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?

One person who really sticks out in my mind as an inspiration for me is Johnny Harris. Johnny is a wonderful actor, writer, director from South London. We made a film together when I was very new to the industry. We spent six long weeks together in Jordan and during that time I was humbled by Johnny’s talent and kindness. His work ethic and how he lives his life has left a lasting impression on me.

Tell us something nobody knows about you…

I love history. In my spare time I listen to lectures and read as much as I can on certain time periods. I’m on a Dark Ages buzz right now, I love it. 

My lockdown...  

How are you finding lockdown?

Lockdown has been pretty good to me so far. I live right by the sea and that has been a huge boost in morale. Being able to get air where there are very few people is a luxury at the moment.

I’ve done a lot of catching up with friends and family over FaceTime which isn’t always a given with work.

I’m not going to lie, there is a healthy amount of PlayStation happening also.

Best thing about lockdown?

Being able to hit the pause button. I’m in a very fortunate position where I can work from home and as an actor I’m used to biding my time in between jobs.

What is happening right now is very scary, it’s making me reevaluate what is important when all the other noise from the world has fallen away. It’s a gift in that respect. It seems to be making people realise, when the chips are down we have each other for strength.

Plus, with the decrease in pollution, it’s no bad thing that the earth is getting a chance to catch her breath too. 

Worst thing about lockdown?

The worst thing is just that, being locked down. It’s not nice to know you can’t leave your home for fear of you or your loved ones getting sick, that’s a shit situation no matter what way you look at it. It’s a helpless feeling.

Top tip for surviving lockdown?

Look after your mental state as best you can. I’ve found it very easy to fall to fear with social media giving you an update every minute on how fucked we all are. What has really helped me has been exercising outside, reading, talking to my friends and trying to limit my screen time.

For me, the most important thing is fresh air because it helps to see the world is still turning even when it seems to be falling apart. 

If you could be locked down with one person, alive or dead, who would it be?

I’m fortunate enough to be on lockdown with the exact person I would want to be with ;)

What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown is over?

When this is all over I’m looking forward to drinking a beer with my close friends and being able to hug my family again. The smallest things that are missing would fill the biggest holes.

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