Brendan Gleeson

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Brendan Gleeson (born 29 March 1955) is an Irish actor. His best-known films include Braveheart, Gangs of New York, In Bruges, 28 Days Later, the Harry Potter films, and the role of Michael Collins in The Treaty. He won an Emmy award in 2009 for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the film Into the Storm.

Contents

[edit] Early life

Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland, and is the half brother of Brendan Mahon, Son of Maurice and Phylis Mahon. Brendan Gleeson has described himself as having been an avid reader as a child.[1] After leaving school for a short while, he worked for two years in an office with a health board. He then graduated from University College Dublin and went on to drama school in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). After completing the 3 Year Acting Drama Course at RADA, Gleeson worked at the Royal National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. He performed in such works of William Shakespeare as King Lear, Richard III, and Hamlet. Gleeson was also known for performing the works of Anton Chekhov in London's West End. He returned to Ireland and worked for several years as a secondary school teacher at the now defunct Belcamp College in Malahide, County Dublin, which closed in 2004. He taught the Irish language (Gaeilge), English and Physical Education. During that time Gleeson was also active in the Dublin Shakespeare Festival.

[edit] Career

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, Artificial Intelligence: AI, 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.

Template:Cquote Gleeson later went on to portray Collins' one-time nemesis 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[2] 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 him several 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".[3]

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 is set for release in 2010.[4][5] 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.[6]

[edit] Personal life

Gleeson lives in Malahide, County Dublin. He is a talented fiddle player, with an interest in Irish folklore.[1] He played the fiddle during his role in Cold Mountain and in Michael Collins and will also feature on Altan's 2009 live album.[7] He can be found from time to time playing at traditional music seisiúins in Hughes' pub in Chancery Street in Dublin 7. His brother, Barry Gleeson, is a well-known singer in An Góilín traditional singers' club, and his sons Domhnall and Brian are also actors. Gleeson is known for his love of football and recounts tales of attempting to get a clear radio reception so he could listen to how his team, Aston Villa, were faring on a Saturday.

[edit] Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1989 Dear Sarah Brendan Dowd TV
1990 Hard Shoulder Lorry Driver TV
The Field Quarryman
1991 In the Border Country Farmer
Saint Oscar TV
The Treaty Michael Collins TV
Jacob's Awards
1992 The Bargain Shop Jim Kennedy
M.A.N.: Matrix Adjusted Normal Dr. Abraham Short
Far and Away Social Club Policeman
Conneely's Choice Josie Conneely Short
Into the West Inspector Bolger
1993 The Snapper Lester TV
Love Lies Bleeding Thomas Macken TV
1994 The Lifeboat Leslie Parry TV series
1995 The Life of Reilly Patient Short
Braveheart Hamish Campbell
Kidnapped Colin Campbell of Glenure, the Red Fox
1996 Angela Mooney Barney Mooney
Michael Collins Liam Tobin
Trojan Eddie Ginger
1997 Angela Mooney Barney Mooney
Spaghetti Slow Frank Ferguson
Turbulence Stubbs
The Butcher Boy Father Bubbles
A Further Gesture Richard
I Went Down Bunny Kelly Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor Also for his performance in The General
Nominated — Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Male Role
1998 Making the Cut Flanagan TV
The General Martin Cahill Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor Also for his performance in I Went Down
Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Male Role
London Film Critics Circle Award for British Actor of the Year
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
This Is My Father Garda Jim TV
The Tale of Sweety Barrett Sweet Barrett
1999 Lake Placid Sheriff Hank Keough
My Life So Far Jim Menries
2000 Mission: Impossible II John C. McCloy
Harrison's Flowers Marc Stevenson
Saltwater Simple Simon
Wild About Harry Harry McKee Nominated — Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Feature Film
2001 J.J. Biker
Cáca Milis Paul Short
The Tailor of Panama Michelangelo 'Mickie' Abraxas
Artificial Intelligence: AI Lord Johnson-Johnson
2002 28 Days Later Frank
Gangs of New York Walter 'Monk' McGinn
Dark Blue Jack Van Meter
2003 Cold Mountain Stobrod Thewes Nominated — London Film Critics Circle Award for British Supporting Actor of the Year
2004 In My Country De Jager
Troy Menelaus
The Village August Nicholson
Six Shooter Donnelly Short
2005 Kingdom of Heaven Raynald of Châtillon
Breakfast on Pluto John Joe Kenny
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody Nominated — London Film Critics Circle Award for British Supporting Actor of the Year
2006 Studs Walter Keegan Nominated — Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in a Film
The Tiger's Tail Liam O'Leary
2007 Black Irish Desmond
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody
Beowulf Wiglaf
2008 In Bruges Ken Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — British Independent Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in a Film
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2009 The Secret of Kells Abbot Cellach (voice)
Into the Storm Winston Churchill TV
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in Television
Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominated — British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film
Perrier's Bounty Darren Perrier Nominated — Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Film
2010 Green Zone Martin Brown
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody 19 November 2010
The Guard Sergeant Gerry Boyle (post-production)
At Swim-Two-Birds [8][9] Director (pre-production)
Making his directorial debut; also starring

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 In Conversations with Eamon Dunphy, 10 November 2007,
  2. The Secret of Kells at the Internet Movie Database
  3. rogerebrt.com review of In Bruges
  4. At Swim Two Birds at the Internet Movie Database
  5. RTÉ article on At Swim Two Birds
  6. Quote from Irish Examiner re Irish Film Board funding
  7. Altan EPK
  8. http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/film-cinema/brendans-voyage-alist-star-and-outraged-citizen-1665180.html

[edit] External links