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Aidan Gillen

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Aidan Gillen
Gillen in 2010
Aidan Murphy

(1968-04-24) 24 April 1968 (age 56)
Dublin, Ireland
Years active1981–present
Olivia O'Flanagan
(m. 2001; div. 2005)
Partner(s)Camille O'Sullivan

Aidan Murphy (born 24 April 1968), better known as Aidan Gillen (/ˈɡɪlən/), is an Irish actor. He is the recipient of three Irish Film & Television Awards[1] and has been nominated for a British Academy Television Award, a British Independent Film Award, and a Tony Award.[2]

On television, he played Stuart Alan Jones in the Channel 4 series Queer as Folk (1999–2000), Tommy Carcetti in the HBO series The Wire (2004–2008), John Boy in the RTÉ series Love/Hate (2010–2011), Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish in the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011–2017), and Aberama Gold in the BBC series Peaky Blinders (2017–2019).

His film roles include CIA operative Bill Wilson in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Dr. Frank Harte in Calvary (2014), Janson in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015) and Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018), Robert in Sing Street (2016), and John Reid in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018). He also provided the voice and motion capture for Paul Serene in the 2016 video game Quantum Break.

Early life[edit]

Gillen was born in the Drumcondra area of Dublin on 24 April 1968, the youngest of six children born to Patricia (née Gillen) and Denis Murphy.[3] He was educated at St. Vincent's C.B.S. in Dublin's Glasnevin neighbourhood.[4]

Gillen began his acting career as a teenager, joining the National Youth Theatre at the age of fourteen[3] and playing Nick Bottom in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Project Arts Centre when he was sixteen.[5] The name Aidan Murphy was already registered so he began using his mother's maiden name as a stage name.[6] He moved to London in 1987 when he was nineteen.[6]


Gillen played Stuart Alan Jones in the Channel 4 television series Queer as Folk and its sequel, for which he received a British Academy Television Award nomination for Best Actor. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his Broadway role in Harold Pinter's play The Caretaker.[7] He was also nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award for his portrayal of Teach in the Dublin Gate Theatre's 2007 production of David Mamet's American Buffalo.[8]

In 2004, having been spotted by producers in The Caretaker, Gillen was cast as Tommy Carcetti in the HBO series The Wire, for which he received an Irish Film & Television Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in Television.[9] In 2008, he was named an "Irish cult hero" by the Sunday Tribune. He appeared in the 2009 film 12 Rounds, and in July of that year, he appeared in the one-off BBC2 drama Freefall. He co-starred as Phil Hendrick in the British drama Thorne.

In 2011, Gillen began playing Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish on the HBO series Game of Thrones, for which he received his second Irish Film & Television Award nomination.[10] He appeared in seven seasons,[11] until his character's death in the season 7 finale "The Dragon and the Wolf".[12] He starred as cop killer Barry Weiss in the British crime-thriller Blitz and in the British horror film Wake Wood. Gillen played crime boss John Boy in the acclaimed Irish crime-drama Love/Hate,[13] for which he received his third Irish Film & Television Award nomination and second win.

In 2012, he played CIA operative Bill Wilson[14] (the character's name is from the novelisation; his name is not directly said in the film's script) in The Dark Knight Rises, his first role in a major Hollywood film.[15] Gillen said he enjoyed playing the role, but preferred low-budget lead roles to blockbuster bit-parts.[15] Gillen's character was particularly noted by some Internet circles for his delivery of supposedly awkward dialogue in the film's opening plane scene, especially by users of 4chan's /tv/ board. Thus, he subsequently became the subject of an Internet meme popular among /tv/ users known as "Baneposting",[16] which references the dialogue between Wilson and Tom Hardy's character Bane in said scene.[17][18] The same year, Gillen also starred in the British spy-drama Shadow Dancer, and was announced as the new host of the music show Other Voices.[19][20]

He starred in the BBC five-part thriller Mayday in 2013, and the Irish comedy-drama film Calvary the following year.[21] He shared a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination with the cast of Game of Thrones for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Gillen also starred in the short film Ekki Múkk,[22] created for the Valtari Mystery Film Experiment by Icelandic band Sigur Rós, as well as Janson in the second film, The Scorch Trials, and third film, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, in the Maze Runner trilogy.[23]

Gillen played Queen's manager John Reid in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which was released on 2 November 2018.[24] He starred as Aidan in the short film titled I Didn't...I Wasn't...I Amn't, written and directed by Irish actress Laoisa Sexton.[25]

He starred in The History Channel's two-season series Project Blue Book from 2019 to 2020. Gillen played Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a brilliant and underappreciated college professor who is recruited by the U.S. Air Force to spearhead an operation named Project Blue Book. He is joined by his partner Air Force Capt. Michael Quinn as they investigate UFO sightings around the country.[26] He also plays Frank Kinsella, a member of a prominent Irish crime family in the BBC crime drama Kin.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Gillen resides in his native Dublin. He met Olivia O'Flanagan when they were teenagers.[6] They have two children: Berry (b. March 1997) and Joe (b. October 2000).[6][3] They married in 2001 and separated in 2005.[3]

Gillen has been in a relationship with singer Camille O'Sullivan since 2014.[3]



Year Title Role Notes
1985 The Drip Young Guy Short film
1987 The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne Youth at Liquor Store Credited as Aidan Murphy
1988 The Courier Boy
1995 Circle of Friends Aidan Lynch
1996 Some Mother's Son Gerard Quigley
1997 Mojo Baby
1998 Gold in the Streets Paddy
Amazing Grace Young Man Short film
1999 Buddy Boy Francis
2000 The Second Death Pool Player Short film
The Low Down Frank
2001 My Kingdom Barry Puttnam
Robertson Major William Robertson Short film
2002 The Final Curtain Dave Turner
2003 Photo Finish Joe Wilde
Shanghai Knights Lord Nelson Rathbone
Burning the Bed Stephen Short film
2006 Trouble with Sex Conor
2008 Blackout Karl
2009 12 Rounds Miles Jackson
Spunkbubble Dessie Short film
Runners Terry
2010 Treacle Jr. Aidan
2011 Wake Wood Patrick Daley
Blitz Barry Weiss
2012 The Dark Knight Rises CIA Op "CIA Op" in film credits, "Bill Wilson" in the movie's novel
Shadow Dancer Gerry
Ekki Múkk Little One Short film
The Good Man Michael
2013 Scrapper Ray
The Note Lars Short film
Mister John Gerry Devine
Beneath the Harvest Sky Clayton
Song Dan Short film
2014 Calvary Dr. Frank Harte
Still Tom Carver
Song Dan Short film
Ambition[28] Master
2015 You're Ugly Too Will
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Janson
2016 Sing Street Robert
2017 The Lovers Robert
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Goosefat Bill
2018 Maze Runner: The Death Cure Janson
Bohemian Rhapsody John Reid
2019 I Didn't...I Wasn't...I Amn't Aidan Short film
Rose Plays Julie Peter
2021 Those Who Wish Me Dead Jack Blackwell
2023 Barber Val Barber
Dance First James Joyce [29]


Year Title Role Notes
1982 Wanderly Wagon Shadow
1990 The Play on One Harry Episode: "Killing Time"
1992 An Ungentlemanly Act Marine Wilcox Television film
1993 A Handful of Stars Tony Television film
Belfry Dominic Television film
The Bill Jeff Barratt Episode: "Play the Game"
Screenplay Gypo Episode: "Safe"
1994 In Suspicious Circumstances James Crozier Episode: "To Encourage the Others"
1999–2000 Queer as Folk Stuart Alan Jones 10 episodes
2000 The Darkling Jeff Obold Television film
Lorna Doone Carver Doone Television film
2001 Dice Glenn Taylor 2 episodes
2002 First Communion Day Seamus Television film
2003 Agatha Christie's Poirot Amyas Crale Episode: "Five Little Pigs"
2004–2008 The Wire Thomas J. "Tommy" Carcetti 35 episodes
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury Jimmy Colby Episode: "Vigilante"
The Last Detective Steve Fallon Episode: "Willesden Confidential"
Walk Away and I Stumble Paul Television film
2009 Freefall Gus Television film
2010 Thorne Phil Hendricks 6 episodes
Identity DI John Bloom 6 episodes
2010–2011 Love/Hate John Boy Power 10 episodes
2011–2017 Game of Thrones Petyr Baelish 41 episodes
2011–2013 Other Voices Himself (host)
2013 Mayday Everett Newcombe 5 episodes
2015 Charlie Charles J. Haughey 3 episodes
2017 Urban Myths Timothy Leary Episode: "Cary Grant and Timothy Leary"
2017–2019 Peaky Blinders Aberama Gold 10 episodes
2018 Dave Allen at Peace Dave Allen Television film
2019–2020 Project Blue Book J. Allen Hynek 20 episodes
2021–2023 Kin Frank Kinsella 16 episodes
2021 Killers of the Cosmos Gumshoe detective (voice) 6 episodes
2021–present Mayor of Kingstown Milo Sunter 20 episodes
2022 That Dirty Black Bag Butler 2 episodes
Chicago Party Aunt Small Man (voice) Episode: "St. Patrick's Day"

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist Ref.
2012 "Ekki múkk" Sigur Rós [30]
2014 "Valentine" I Draw Slow [31]
2016 "Cameo"[32] Mick Flannery
2019 "When We Go Out" Vinci [33]
"Lived Through This Before" Barry McCormack [34]
2020 "A Hero's Death" Fontaines D.C. [35]
2020 "Distant Shores" Barry McCormack [36]


Year Title Notes
1994 Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha [37]
1995 Felicia's Journey [38]
The Barrytown Trilogy: The Commitments [39]
1998 Irish Short Stories
2010 The Poetry of Ireland [40]
2015 The Art of War


Year Title Notes
2013 The Last Tycoon BBC Radio 4[41]

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2016 Quantum Break Paul Serene Also motion capture


Year Title Role Venue(s)
1981 The Do-It-Yourself Frankenstein Outfit Robot Dublin Youth Theatre
1985 Our Day Out Andrews Dublin Youth Theatre
A Midsummer Night's Dream Nick Bottom National Youth Theatre
1988 The Wexford Trilogy: A Hand of Stars Tony Bush Theatre
1989 Juno and the Paycock Soldier Royal National Theatre
Blue Ed Ache / Fred National Theatre Studio
The Long Way Round Albin Royal National Theatre
The Water Engine Bernie Hampstead Theatre
1990 Lovers Meeting Joe Hession Druid Theatre Company
1991 The Patriot Game Pearse Abbey Theatre
The Wexford Trilogy: Belfry Dominic Bush Theatre
1992 Drama at Inish Eddie Twohig Abbey Theatre
1993 The Wexford Trilogy Tony / Dominic Abbey Theatre
Marvin's Room Hank Hampstead Theatre
Comedy Theatre
1994 The Playboy of the Western World Christopher Mahon Almeida Theatre
1995 Mojo Skinny Royal Court Theatre
2000 The Tempest Ariel Almeida Theatre
2001 Platonov Platonov Almeida Theatre
2003 The Caretaker Mick Roundabout Theatre
2005 Someone Who'll Watch Over Me Edward New Ambassadors Theatre
2007 American Buffalo Teach Gate Theatre
Glengarry Glen Ross Richard Roma Apollo Theatre
2015 The Dead Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
2021–2022 Faith Healer Frank Hardy Abbey Theatre[42]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work Award Result
2000 Queer as Folk British Academy Television Award for Best Actor Nominated
2000 The Low Down Edinburgh International Film Festival for Best British Newcomer[43] Won
2004 The Caretaker Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Nominated
2004 The Caretaker Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Nominated
2004 The Caretaker Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play Nominated
2009 The Wire Irish Film and Television Award for Actor in a Lead Role Television Won
2010 Treacle Jr. British Independent Film Award for Best Performance by an Actor Nominated
2011 Treacle Jr. Milan International Film Festival Award for Best Actor[44] Won
2012 Love/Hate Irish Film and Television Award for Actor in a Lead Role Television Won
2012 Game of Thrones Irish Film and Television Award for Actor in a Supporting Role Television Nominated
2012 Game of Thrones Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2014 Game of Thrones Irish Film and Television Award for Actor in a Supporting Role Television Nominated
2015 Charlie Irish Film and Television Award for Actor in a Lead Role Television Won
2015 Game of Thrones Empire Hero Award[45] Won
2016 Game of Thrones Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2016 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain[46] Nominated
2017 Quantum Break NAVGTR Award for Supporting Performance in a Drama Won
2018 Maze Runner: The Death Cure Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain[47] Nominated


  1. ^ "IFTA winners 2012 announced". RTÉ. Archived from the original on 29 April 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  2. ^ Harris, David (2 February 2016). "Current (Aidan Gillen) and future (Richard E. Grant) Game of Thrones Actors discuss their careers". Winter is Coming. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e "'Aloof? I was just scared' – Aidan Gillen on finding love, dealing with his father's illness and why he prefers Kerry to Hollywood". Irish Independent. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  4. ^ Sweeney, Tanya (30 October 2021). "Aidan Gillen: 'I think people like looking at violence on TV and movies. It's living vicariously. It's kind of a release of pressure". Irish Independent. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  5. ^ Lawson, Mark (2 October 2007). "'I don't mind nasty roles'". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d O'Connor, Aine (17 July 2015). "Aidan Gillen comes to terms with fame". Irish Independent. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Aidan Gillen Tony Award". Broadwayworld. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Theatre Awards Shortlist Announced". RTÉ. 14 January 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Winners of the 6th Annual Irish Film and Television Awards, 2009". Irish Film and Television Academy. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Aidan Gillen – Nominated for TWO IFTA awards". Live Journal. Archived from the original on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  11. ^ Dresdale, Andrea (12 April 2015). "'Game of Thrones' Premiere: What to Expect from Season 5". ABC News. Go.com. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  12. ^ MacDonald, Lindsay (27 August 2017). "The Game of Thrones Finale Featured a Major Reveal and a Long-Awaited Death". TV Guide. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Third series of Love/Hate in development". RTÉ. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  14. ^ Cox, Greg (24 July 2012). The Dark Knight Rises: The Official Novelization. London: Titan Books. ISBN 978-1-78116-106-7.
  15. ^ a b Mottram, James (14 September 2013). "Lost soul: Aidan Gillen is taking on an existential crisis in the spiky Mister John". The Independent. Archived from the original on 17 September 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Baneposting". Know Your Meme. 26 April 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  17. ^ Broderick, Ryan (25 January 2017). "Trump Supporters And Neo-Nazis Are Using Secret Chatrooms To Harass Shia LaBeouf". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Aidan Gillen has accidentally become part of a bizarre 'alt-right meme'". The Daily Edge. 29 January 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Gillen is new Other Voices host". RTÉ. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
  20. ^ "I did warn you not to trust me…". UniversityObserver. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  21. ^ "Aidan Gillen in BBC thriller Mayday". Digital Spy. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  22. ^ "Sigur Rós – Ekki múkk". Vimeo. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  23. ^ Kit, Borys (26 September 2014). "'Game of Thrones' Actor to Play Villain in 'Maze Runner' Sequel (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  24. ^ Galuppo, Mia (26 September 2017). "Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander Join Cast of Queen Biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  25. ^ "SEARCH FOR a PLAY – PlayographyIreland".
  26. ^ Petski, Denise (10 February 2019). "'Project Blue Book' Renewed For Season 2 By History – TCA". Deadline.com. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  27. ^ "Kin (TV Series 2021– ) - IMDb". IMDb.
  28. ^ "Game of Thrones star takes lead in hard sci-fi 'Ambition' (Wired UK)". Wired. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  29. ^ "First look: Gabriel Byrne as Samuel Beckett in James Marsh's biopic 'Dance First'". Screen Daily.
  30. ^ Carrie, Battan (24 September 2012). "Watch: New Sigur Rós Video Starring Aiden Gillen, a.k.a. Mayor Tommy Carcetti From "The Wire"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  31. ^ McGuire, Peter (13 February 2014). "'Game of Thrones' Star Aidan Gillen in New 'I Draw Slow' Video". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  32. ^ Madden, Peter (26 September 2016), "CAMEO", Vimeo, retrieved 1 August 2017
  33. ^ McIntyre, Sarah (7 June 2019). "Aidan Gillen stars in Irish band's music video about homeless crisis". RTÉ.ie. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  34. ^ "Watch: Aidan Gillen plays conspiracy theorist in new music video". RTÉ.ie. 20 November 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  35. ^ Dolan, Jon (8 May 2020). "Song You Need to Know: Fontaines D.C., 'A Hero's Death'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  36. ^ Corr, Alan (25 November 2020). "Watch: Aidan Gillen plays vagrant in new music video". RTÉ.ie. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  37. ^ ASIN B0051H6FW4
  38. ^ ASIN B000PYA4MA, ASIN B002X7UY36
  39. ^ ASIN B002SQCXX6
  40. ^ ASIN B003GQ6S2O
  41. ^ "The Last Tycoon – BBC Radio 4". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  42. ^ "Faith Healer". Abbey Theatre. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  43. ^ "Edinburgh International Film Festival 2000". IMDb.
  44. ^ "MIFF Awards Winners MIFF Tour". Milan International Film Festival Awards.
  45. ^ "Empire Hero Award". Empireonline.com. Bauer Consumer Media. 2015. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  46. ^ Eliahou, Maya (9 June 2016). "Teen Choice Awards 2016—Captain America: Civil War Leads Second Wave of Nominations". E! Online. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  47. ^ "Teen Choice Awards 2018: See the full list of winners". EW.com. Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 13 August 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018.

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