Brendan Gleeson at the British Independent Film Awards 2014
29 March 1955 |
Dublin, Republic of Ireland
|Spouse(s)||Mary (Weldon) (m. 1982)|
Brendan Gleeson (born 29 March 1955) is an Irish actor. His best-known performances include supporting roles in films such as Braveheart, Gangs of New York, 28 Days Later, Troy, and the Harry Potter films and leading roles in films such as In Bruges, The Guard, and Calvary. He won an Emmy Award in 2009 for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the film Into the Storm.
Gleeson was born in Dublin, the son of Pat and Frank Gleeson. Gleeson has described himself as having been an avid reader as a child. He received his second level education at St. Joseph's CBS in Fairview, Dublin where he was a member of the school drama group. After training as an actor, he returned to Ireland and worked for several years as a secondary school teacher of Irish and English at the now defunct Catholic Belcamp College in North County Dublin, which closed in 2004. He was working simultaneously as an actor while teaching, doing semi-professional and professional productions in Dublin and surrounding areas. He left the teaching profession to commit full-time to acting in 1991.
In an NPR interview to launch Calvary he revealed he was abused by a Christian Brother saying, "I remember a particular Christian Brother dropped the hand on me at one point. It wasn’t very traumatic and it wasn’t at all sustained, it was just one of these things where something odd happened."
Gleeson started his film career at the age of 34. He first came to prominence in Ireland for his role as Michael Collins in The Treaty, a television film broadcast on RTÉ One, and for which he won a Jacob's Award in 1992. He has acted in such films as Braveheart, I Went Down, Michael Collins, Gangs of New York, Cold Mountain, 28 Days Later, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, Lake Placid, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Mission: Impossible II, and The Village. He won critical acclaim for his performance as Irish gangster Martin Cahill in John Boorman's 1998 film The General.
While Gleeson portrayed Irish statesman Michael Collins in The Treaty, he later portrayed Collins' close collaborator Liam Tobin in the film Michael Collins with Liam Neeson taking the role of Collins. Gleeson later went on to portray Winston Churchill in Into the Storm. Gleeson won an Emmy Award for his performance. Gleeson played Hogwarts professor Mad-Eye Moody in the fourth, fifth and seventh Harry Potter films. His son Domhnall played Bill Weasley in the seventh film.
Gleeson provided the voice of Abbot Cellach in The Secret of Kells, an animated film co-directed by Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey of Cartoon Saloon which premiered in February 2009 at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.
Gleeson starred in the short film Six Shooter in 2006, which won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short. This film was written and directed by Martin McDonagh who also wrote and directed In Bruges in 2008. The film, and Gleeson's performance, enjoyed huge critical acclaim, earning Gleeson several award nominations, including his first Golden Globe nomination. In the movie, Gleeson plays a mentor-like figure for Colin Farrell's hitman. In his review of In Bruges, Roger Ebert described the elder Gleeson as having a "noble shambles of a face and the heft of a boxer gone to seed."
Gleeson will be making his directorial debut in a film adaptation of Flann O'Brien's novel At Swim-Two-Birds. The Irish production company Parallel Pictures will produce the film with a budget of $11 million. Colin Farrell, Gabriel Byrne, and Cillian Murphy have been attached to star in the film, which was originally set for release in 2010. In October 2009, however, Gleeson expressed concern that the Irish Film Board's budget might be reduced given the state of the Irish economy and that At Swim-Two-Birds might fall through. Gleeson confirmed in July 2011, that he has secured funding for the project. He described the writing of the script as tortuous, saying that it has taken fourteen drafts so far.
He has been married to Mary (née Weldon) since 1982. He has four boys; Domhnall, Brían, Fergus and Rúairí. Domhnall and Brían are also actors. Gleeson speaks fluent Irish and is an advocate of the promotion of the Irish language. A Birmingham Mail article in September 2014 stated that he is known as a "huge football fan and supports Aston Villa".
- "The heart of the matter" 17 February 2011, RTE.ie
- In Conversations with Eamon Dunphy 10 November 2007, RTÉ
- "School is out for Brandon Gleeson", 23 July 1999, Entertainment Weekly
- "Gannon to get €400m for Belcamp College site" 10 September 2006, Business Post
- "STARS WHO HIT IT BIG AFTER 30". The Hype.
- "The Devoted Friend". Wilde Stories. Channel 4. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- Brendan Gleeson on Foodandwine.net
- "THE SECRET OF KELLS to screen at the Dublin International Film Festival" 10 December 2008, Irish Film Board web site
- Review of In Bruges by Ebert at Rogerebrt.com
- RTÉ article on At Swim Two Birds RTÉ
- Quote from Irish Examiner re Irish Film Board funding Irish Examiner
- Gleeson, Sinead (16 July 2011). "Capturing the Glee Factor". Irish Times. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- Fleming, Mike (30 July 2012). "Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch Find 'The Grand Seduction'". Deadline.com. PMC. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Altan EPK". Mpibands.com. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
- http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/magazine/2011/0716/1224300619253.html "Capturing the Glee factor", 16 July 2011, The Irish Times