Domhnall Gleeson

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Domhnall Gleeson
Domhnall Gleeson by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Domhnall Gleeson at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International
Born (1983-05-12) 12 May 1983 (age 32)
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Other names Donal Gleeson
Education Bachelor of Arts
Alma mater Dublin Institute of Technology
Occupation Actor, director, writer
Years active 2001–present
Relatives Brendan Gleeson (father)
Brían Gleeson (brother)

Domhnall Gleeson (/ˈdnəl ˈɡlsən/; born 12 May 1983) is an Irish actor, director, and writer. He has acted on both stage and screen, earning a Tony Award nomination in 2006 for his part in the Broadway production The Lieutenant of Inishmore. He has performed in several shows at Dublin's Gate Theatre, including adaptations of American Buffalo and Great Expectations.

Gleeson's work on-screen includes appearances in the television series The Last Furlong (2006), the comedy sketch show Your Bad Self (2010) and the films Six Shooter (2004), Boy Eats Girl (2005) and Studs (2006). He is mostly known for portraying Bill Weasley in the films Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010) and Part 2 (2011), in which he starred alongside his father Brendan Gleeson. His other notable films include Never Let Me Go (2010), True Grit (2010), Anna Karenina (2012), Dredd (2012), About Time (2013), Frank (2014), Calvary (2014), Unbroken (2014) and Ex Machina (2015).

He is set to play General Hux in J. J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is due for release in December 2015,[1] as well as in Brooklyn (2015) and Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant (2015).

Early life and education[edit]

Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland, the oldest son of actor Brendan Gleeson, and his wife, Mary Gleeson (née Weldon).[2] He has three brothers, Fergus, Brian (also an actor), and Rory.

Gleeson attended Malahide Community School, and later graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Arts from the Dublin Institute of Technology.[3]


Domhnall Gleeson at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival

After graduating, Gleeson began directing and writing for both film and stage.[3] In 2006, Gleeson starred in the feature film Studs, with his father appearing alongside him.[3]

Gleeson also starred in the Academy Award-winning movie short Six Shooter[4] and Boy Eats Girl, as well as the RTÉ television series The Last Furlong.[3] He also appeared on the Broadway theatre show The Lieutenant of Inishmore at age twenty-three, receiving a Tony Award nomination for the role.[3][4]

In late 2007, Gleeson played Herbert Pocket in the Hugh Leonard adaptation of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations at the Gate Theatre in Dublin.[5] The part was described as "wittily played" by Irish Independent critic Bruce Arnold.[6] Earlier that year he had a role as Bobby in the David Mamet play American Buffalo, also at the Gate Theatre.[7]

In 2008, Gleeson starred in the one-off RTÉ comedy sketch show Your Bad Self, which was broadcast on 26 December that year.[3][4] Other roles in 2008 included A Dog Year and Paddyville.[3]

In March 2009, it was confirmed that he had been cast as Bill Weasley in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.[8][9] His father, Brendan, plays Alastor Moody in the series.[8][9] Gleeson had initially been reluctant to act alongside his father in the same film but later changed his mind.[10] In 2006, he said of his acting: "I'd been very certain about not wanting to do the acting thing because of my father. I thought I'd always have the father-son thing of 'He got you the part'."[9]

In the 2009 film Sensation, Gleeson plays the part of a randy young farmer whose "soulless encounter" with a call-girl "develops into a bittersweet love story".[11][12]

He had his break-out year in 2010 with his role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Also in 2010, he starred alongside Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan in Never Let Me Go, and with Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon in the Academy Award–nominated Coen Brothers' film True Grit.

Gleeson won the 2011 Ifta Award for Best Actor for his performance as Bob Geldof in the acclaimed biopic When Harvey Met Bob.

Dohmnall played Konstantin Levin in the film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel Anna Karenina,[13] directed by Joe Wright. It was released in late 2012. In 2013 Gleeson starred in About Time, a romantic comedy written and directed by Richard Curtis.[14] The story follows a young man, played by Gleeson, who travels back in time and meets "the girl of his dreams", played by Rachel McAdams. Filming took place in London, England, in June 2012.[15] In 2014, he portrayed Jon in the Lenny Abrahamson film Frank, starring alongside Michael Fassbender, and in 2015, played Caleb in Alex Garland's directorial debut Ex Machina.[16] He will play General Hux in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Personal life[edit]

Gleeson shares a love of the Premier League team Aston Villa with his father Brendan. Domhnall described the team's FA Cup semi final win over Liverpool at Wembley Stadium in 2015 as one of the "great days of my life."[17]



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Six Shooter Cashier Short film
2005 Stars Brian (voice) Short film
2005 Boy Eats Girl Bernard
2006 Studs Trampis
2009 Dog Year, AA Dog Year Anthony Armstrong
2009 What Will Survive of Us Short film; Writer and director
2009 Perrier's Bounty Clifford
2009 Corduroy Mahon Short film
2010 Sensation Donal Ron Weasel.
2010 Noreen Short film; Writer and director
2010 Never Let Me Go Rodney
2010 True Grit Moon (The Kid)
2010 When Harvey Met Bob Bob Geldof Television film
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Bill Weasley
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Bill Weasley
2012 Dredd Clan Techie
2012 Anna Karenina Konstantin Levin
2012 Shadow Dancer Connor
2013 About Time Tim Lake
2014 Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts Bill Weasley Theme park ride
2014 Frank Jon
2014 Calvary Freddie Joyce
2014 Unbroken Russell Allen Phillips
2015 Ex Machina Caleb
2015 Brooklyn Jim Post-production
2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens General Hux Post-production
2015 The Revenant Andrew Henry Post-production
2017 Mena Pre-production


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Last Furlong, TheThe Last Furlong Sean Flanagan 3 episodes
2010 Your Bad Self Various 6 episodes; Also writer
2013 Black Mirror Ash Episode: "Be Right Back"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result Work
2006 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Play Nominated The Lieutenant of Inishmore
2007 Irish Film and Television Awards Breakthrough Talent Nominated Studs
2011 Berlin International Film Festival Best international actor Won
2011 Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actor in a Lead Role in Television Won When Harvey Met Bob
2012 Hamptons International Film Festival Breakthrough Performer Won Anna Karenina
2012 British Independent Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated Shadow Dancer
2013 Empire Awards Best Male Newcomer Nominated Anna Karenina
2013 Irish Film and Television Awards Best Supporting Actor Film Won Anna Karenina
2014 Irish Film and Television Awards Best Lead Actor - Film Nominated About Time
2015 Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Film Won Frank


  1. ^ "Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Announced |". Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Gleeson, B. (1989). Breaking Up. Passion Machine. ISBN 9781872313009. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Domhnall Gleeson to star in RTÉ Christmas Special". Evening Herald. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "The last laugh". The Irish Times. 20 December 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2009. Domhnall Gleeson Nominated for a Tony at the age of 23 for his role in the 2006 Broadway production of Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore. May have felt like déjà-vu for Gleeson who also appeared in McDonagh's Oscar-winning short, Six Shooter. Domhnall's father, Brendan Gleeson, co-starred with Peter McDonald in 1997's I Went Down. 
  5. ^ "Domhnall Gleeson–Actor". Irish Independent. 24 November 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  6. ^ Arnold, Bruce (29 November 2007). "Festive fare for all the family lives up to the greatest of expectations". Irish Independent. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  7. ^ "American Buffalo". RTÉ. 16 February 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Bill Nighy in "Die Heiligtümer des Todes"". (German). 1 July 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c "Headlines: Tony Nominee Domhnall Gleeson to Appear in Final Harry Potter Films". 9 March 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  10. ^ "Domhnall Gleeson confirmed as Bill Weasley for 'Deathly Hallows'". HPANA. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  11. ^ "Follow-Up May Keep Hall From Edinburgh". California Chronicle. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  12. ^ "Follow-Up May Keep Hall From Edinburgh (original)". The Irish Times. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009. Tony-award nominee Domhnall Gleeson plays a randy young farmer with New Zealand actress Luanne Gordon as an aging Antipodean escort. "They begin as client and call-girl, evolve into lovers and finally business partners,” according to the synopsis. "What starts as a soulless contract develops into a bittersweet love story." 
  13. ^ "Domhnall Gleeson Lands Role in Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina'". IFTN. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  14. ^ Kit, Borys (10 May 2012). "Rachel McAdams to Star in Working Title's 'About Time' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  15. ^ Kit, Borys (10 May 2012). "Rachel McAdams to Star in Working Title's 'About Time' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (10 May 2012). "Ex Machina". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  17. ^ "Star Wars actor Gleeson: Villa Wembley win was special day". Aston Villa. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 

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