Jack Gleeson

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Jack Gleeson
Jack Gleeson (August 2012) (headshot).jpg
Gleeson in 2012
Born (1992-05-20) 20 May 1992 (age 29)
Cork, Ireland
Alma materTrinity College, Dublin
Years active2002–present

Jack Gleeson (born 20 May 1992) is an Irish actor who is best known for his critically acclaimed role as Joffrey Baratheon on the HBO television series Game of Thrones (2011–2014). Following this role, Gleeson semi-retired from acting and has since taken part in independent theater and the 2020 BBC miniseries Out of Her Mind.

Early life[edit]

Gleeson was born in Cork, Ireland, and raised in Ranelagh, Dublin, where he attended Gonzaga College. He has two older sisters, Rachel and Emma, who are also involved in Irish theatre.[1] He attended drama classes with them when he was young, and also performed in youth theatre.

Gleeson attended Trinity College Dublin between 2010 and 2015.[2] He studied philosophy and theology and was elected a scholar at the university in 2012.[3][4][5] At Trinity, Gleeson was a member of DU Players, where he met his future co-founders of Collapsing Horse Theatre Company.[1]


Gleeson began acting at the age of 8, in the Independent Theatre Workshop.[6] His first roles were in films such as Reign of Fire (2002), Batman Begins (2005), Shrooms (2007), and A Shine of Rainbows (2009).[7] In 2010, he appeared in a leading role in All Good Children. The reviewer for Variety magazine considered Gleeson 'the pic's big discovery'.[8]

Gleeson starred as Joffrey Baratheon in the HBO series Game of Thrones.[9] He cited Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Commodus in Gladiator (2000) as an influence on his performance.[10]

In 2012, Gleeson indicated an intention to retire from acting to pursue an academic career once his work on Game of Thrones was finished.[5] In 2014, Gleeson retired from acting after concluding his work in Game of Thrones. In an interview, he stated that while he had previously been interested in pursuing academia, he had since 'gone off that idea.'[11]

Throughout the 2010s, Gleeson was a company member of the Dublin-based Collapsing Horse Theatre Company, of which he was also a founder and producer.[12] He was part of the original cast in the company's first theatre production Monster / Clock, a children's theater show which premiered in Dublin in 2012.[13] He next appeared in the company's 'lo-fi comedy' Bears in Space which premiered in Dublin in July 2014 and took part of the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[14] The show was well reviewed and had revival productions in Dublin and London in 2015 and off-Broadway in New York in September 2016 as part of Origin's 1st Irish theatre festival.[15][16] Collapsing Horse came to an end in November 2019.[17]

In 2019, Gleeson made two public appearances. In June, he was featured in the musical-comedy program AMUSICAL at the Kilkenny Cat Laughs[18] comedy festival in Kilkenny, Ireland with comedians Eleanor Tiernan and Alison Spittle.[19][20] In August, he made a surprise appearance at Over the Top Wrestling's Trinity Brawl 2 event in Dublin where he played the face, aptly called 'TV's Jack Gleeson,' opposite Irish wrestler J Money.[21][22]

In March 2020, it was announced Gleeson would return to television, having been cast in a small role in Sara Pascoe's new series Out Of Her Mind.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Gleeson lives in Dublin; he previously lived in London.[2]

In May 2018, Gleeson publicly supported the campaign to repeal Ireland's Eighth Amendment.[24]

He is not related to the fellow Irish actor Brendan Gleeson.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
2002 Reign of Fire Kid Uncredited
Moving Day Jack Short film
2003 Fishtale Boy with the Fish
2004 Tom Waits Made Me Cry Young Vincent
2005 Batman Begins Little Boy on the balcony
2007 Shrooms Lonely Twin
2009 A Shine of Rainbows Seamus
2010 All Good Children Dara


Year Title Role Network Notes
2006–2008 Killinaskully Pa Connors Jr. RTÉ One 4 episodes
2011–2014 Game of Thrones Joffrey Baratheon HBO Main role; 26 episodes (seasons 1–4)
IGN People's Choice Award for Best TV Villain (2012–2013)
Nominated—IGN Award for Best TV Villain (2011–2013)
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series (2013)
Nominated—Scream Award for Best Ensemble (2011)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2011, 2013)
Nominated—Young Hollywood Award: We Love to Hate You (2014)
2020 Out of Her Mind Casper BBC 2 episodes


Year Title Role Venue Production Company Notes
2009 The Giant Blue Hand Actor, Timmy Time The Ark The Ark [26]
2012 Monster / Clock Actor, Toby; Associate Producer Smock Alley Theatre Collapsing Horse [13][26]
2013 Distance from the Event Associate Producer Dublin Fringe Festival [27][26]
2013 Human Child Co-Producer Smock Alley Theatre [26]
2014–2016 Bears in Space Actor, Nico/Skin Project Arts Centre:
July 2014
Edinburgh Festival Fringe:
August 2014
Smock Alley Theatre:
July 2015
Soho Theatre:
August, December 2015
59e59 Theater:
September 2016
2017 The Water Orchard Dramaturg Project Arts Centre [28]
2018 Science Fiction Radio Hour Performer Set Theatre:
May 2018
2 episodes[29]
Sugar Club:
July 2018


  1. ^ a b O'Rourke, Frances. "First encounters: Jack Gleeson and Matt Smyth". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Dear Fresher Me: Jack Gleeson". www.universitytimes.ie. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  3. ^ Email: Fellows & Scholars (Email) (2 July 2012). "Welcome – Fellows & Scholars: Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, Ireland". Tcd.ie. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Meanwhile, At Trinity College". Broadsheet.ie. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  5. ^ a b O'Regan, Mark (17 April 2012). "Jack Gleeson swaps 'Game of Thrones' for seat of learning". Irish Independent. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  6. ^ "The Independent Theatre Workshop". The Independent Theatre Workshop.
  7. ^ "Jack Gleeson Lands Major HBO Pilot!". In The Spotlight. 10 March 2010. Archived from the original on 10 March 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  8. ^ Felperin, Leslie (20 May 2010). "All Good Children – Film Reviews – Cannes". Variety. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  9. ^ Kit, Borys (19 July 2009). "Sean Bean ascends to Game of Thrones". Reuters. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  10. ^ Hill, Logan (June 2012). "The Villains Questionnaire: Jack Gleeson". GQ. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  11. ^ Hibberd, James (13 April 2014). "'Game of Thrones': Jack Gleeson talks royal wedding shocker -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Company". Collapsing Horse. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Monster / Clock". Collapsing Horse. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Bears in Space". Collapsing Horse. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  15. ^ Bartleet, Larry (10 August 2016). "Jack Gleeson, AKA 'Game Of Thrones" King Joffrey, Is Playing With Puppets Now". NME. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  16. ^ Brantley, Ben (2 October 2016). "Review: 'Bears in Space,' an Interstellar Romp Through Winsome Silliness". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  17. ^ Collapsing Horse (28 November 2019). ""...after 8 wonderful years..."". Twitter. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  18. ^ "Home - Kilkenny Cat Laughs Comedy Festival 2020". The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival.
  19. ^ "AMUSICAL". The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  20. ^ O'Connor, Siobhan (27 May 2019). "Irish Game Of Thrones star turns to musical comedy". irishmirror. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  21. ^ Satin, Ryan (17 August 2019). "Jack Gleeson aka King Joffrey Makes Appearance at Wrestling Event". Pro Wrestling Sheet | Insider Wrestling News and Reports. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Trinity Brawl 2: Dublin or Nothin". Eventbrite. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  23. ^ "Game of Thrones' Jack Gleeson to make TV return". 7 March 2020. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  24. ^ "Jack Gleeson in conversation with Mark O'Halloran — District". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  25. ^ https://quitpit.com/jack-gleeson/%3famp=1
  26. ^ a b c d "Jack Gleeson". irishplayography.com. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  27. ^ "Distance from the Event". Collapsing Horse. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  28. ^ "The Water Orchard". Collapsing Horse. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Collapsing Horse Science Fiction Radio Hour". www.stitcher.com. Retrieved 1 April 2019.

External links[edit]