There is no escaping once you get captivated by the intimidating-looking name and his excellence in his chosen craft; there is no more turning back. Has anyone ever doubted how Gleeson got to where he is now? Maybe some, but no one actually should.
He is a Tony Award-nominee and Irish film and television award winner. It is clearer than crystal that Domhnall is a multi-talented actor who has brought to life numerous remarkable characters that left momentous attributions in the film industry, such as his role as Bill Weasley in the epic “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and 2”, his memorable performances in “Never Let me Go” (2010) and “True Grit” (2010), a starring role in the science-fiction love story “Ex Machina” (2015), and key supporting roles in both “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015) and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017). Guess it's more appropriate to say that he makes all his roles amazing, eh?
Stuck in Dublin. Among all the characters he has played, his role in real life as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on almost all the countries in the world appears to him as the strangest experience he ever had in his life. “I was actually working on another television show, we only had a few days left to film, and when the pandemic struck, it became irresponsible to continue filming,” he said as few projects were temporarily halted due to the health risks. He has been stuck in his apartment in Dublin to be isolated during this coronavirus crisis, instead of normally promoting his new HBO series “Run”.
Anti-celebrity. Along with the existential crisis that his character has in this recent project, Domhnall himself feels the same in reality as a dilemma arises whether to utilize his influence to encourage people who idolize him to stay at home during this pandemic or keep the thought to himself as he has no right to tell people how to live their lives. Well, he is an anti-celebrity himself after all who always wonders why anyone should be interested in who and how he is even behind the cameras. However, his wholesomeness remains as it is; the actor stated that he has been keeping the COVID-19 front liners in his thoughts, “I’m just very thankful to all the people who are doing the work that we all need them for, the health workers and so forth. I’m just in awe of those people”.
In the very first place, Gleeson was not even eyeing this industry of acting as the field that best fits him; he was more interested in directing and producing, so he resisted becoming an actor. After finishing his Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts from Dublin Institute of Technology, he pursued directing and writing for both film and stage but was still hesitant of acting. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1983 to Mary and Brendan Gleeson.
The reason why he was reluctant to do so was because of his father, Brendan, who was already a renowned actor when he was just still starting in the industry. He always thought that people would associate his own victories to his father: “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 role.’” But eventually, he changed his mind; after his early appearances in British Mini Series, which paved the way to more acting opportunities, he became much more comfortable doing this kind of art. And as he ventured with different films with the varying genre, he was then provided with international exposures that quickly led to a queue of high- profile roles.
Far from the idea of other people that he chooses to distance himself from his Emmy- winning, acting royalty father, he actually looks up to him for work ethic and advice: “Look, there’s no way in which he is a hindrance. I was aware when I’d turn up on stuff that there’d be a certain amount of” ‘maybe he got the job because of who his dad is” or whatever. But it’s hard to make a film or a play happen, and if anyone has spent money on anything, they’re not going to hire someone who can’t do the job just because they know your dad…” He established his career without taking off his last name and was not feeling like he is in his dad’s shadow. He achieved all of his victories simply because of his unwavering passion for what he is doing.
Despite the fame and everything that comes after it, he has a struggle that has caused a lot of trouble throughout his acting career - his name itself. Having such name “Domhnall” has been mispronounced everywhere from Dom-in-hall to Dum-nail, where in fact, the correct pronunciation of it is “Doe-null.” Quite funny, indeed, to count it as a struggle; however, isn’t it just frustrating having everyone mispronounce and misspell your name over and over again? Well, Domhnall pretty much had and is still having a bunch of that.
He has never shied away from finding out more about his sexuality, as he always had that appealing and irresistible character that captivates every fan. His new character in the HBO series “Run” chose to elope with his college friend Ruby Richardson to find something that feels like a missing piece in their lives, but in real life, Gleeson chooses to swing in a different way. Every time rumors circulate around pertaining to his romantic life, he would normally clarify those out as he frankly despises, well not that much, but he just honestly dislikes being associated with other people.
Other than having a photoshoot with Gigi Hadid for the fall edition of Vogue Magazine in 2016, the television producer Juliette Bonass has been the only other lady that Gleeson has been spotted with; the fans were crazy about it and have actually thought that they were something else. But the actor clarified the alleged romantic relationship with Bonass in one of his latest interviews with Washington Post. “I find it strange that people want to know those aspects of my life. And then I find it odd that I’m quite defensive about it. I think I hate the notion of anybody being defined by anybody else, and that seems to be what happens when anybody who happens to be in the public eye goes out with anybody else. Some things are precious. Why on earth would you share them”.
He clearly just wants his private life to be as exclusive to him as possible. Domhnall actually neither confirms nor rejects that idea of him having a relationship or dating someone, he just refuses to have it as the subject, and if he happens to finally decide on having so, it is only him who could tell his fans if he desires so.
Despite being closed when it comes to his personal, romantic life, Domhnall’s latest HBO’s romcom- thriller series “Run” will take you on a whole new ride, offering the feels in the midst of this pandemic. As the whole world suffers in continuing self- isolation and economic instability, most of us just want to run away to get out of the deafening silence of being alone. And the HBO series “Run” that has new seven episodes, genre-defying, and starring the Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson and the Emmy winner Merritt Wever (Godless, Nurse Jackie) just happens to offer a new interesting way of escapade, that surely gives another flavor to love.
Every episode of the series written and produced by Vicky Jones has a duration of half an hour, and each of it revolves around the married woman named Ruby Richardson (Wever) whose life just circulates around a monotonous pattern, plain and downright uninteresting. But a single text of the word “run” from her college sweetheart Billy Johnson (Gleeson) to whom she made a pact with 17 years ago, drastically changed the bland life she was living. They had a promise to each other that if either of them texted the word “run,” and the other one replied with the same, they would leave everything behind and meet at the Grand Central Station, then go on a cross-country journey by train.
This rom-com thriller series Run serves as refreshing deviance from the crime dramas, sci-fi plots, and fantasy serials that have been the main themes of the televisions these past seasons. As it is also said to be genre-defying, there is as much tension in the air as there is chemistry; Ruby, in particular, suffers suffocating panic at times brought by her decision to run. And while it is tagged with romantic comedy, there will always be dark twists and turns yet to come.
However, despite having a successful season one of the series, the creators and HBO tried to find a direction forward for Run but ultimately couldn’t come to an agreement. As a result, the series has slowed to a full stop, and was announced that the first season of the show is also its last.
Gleeson shared how he came to be involved in the series and drew him to it; he just recently did a project that was very heavy and had taken an emotional toll on him, that is why he decided on doing something which is a little more light-hearted. Coincidentally, his agents just got the script of the series. At first, he was not interested in doing TV because he is more drawn to making movies, but once he read the script, he immediately thought it was incredible as it is all about love and endless possibilities.
He knew that the chance to work with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Vicky Jones on something so funny, fresh, and animating was too good to pass up. He was attracted by the series as it is a genre-busting in nature; you’ll be continually interested in what they’re going next and how their relationship will end up. He was also thrilled on working with Merritt Wever as he knew that she was capable of doing extraordinary things: “Merritt is absolutely superb at that and incredible to play opposite. I was lucky to have her to rely on”.
Gleeson also shared his insights about his character as Billy Johnson. Billy was a successful guru, but he tells a lot of lies, both to himself and other people. Gleeson understands that there are parts in his character that are awful but also think that he is trying to get better. He also thinks that the character of Ruby isn’t perfect either, which makes them a solid match. They both have edged off; it accentuates them, which is indeed a good idea for both of their characters.
And although the show’s release badly fell in this strange time because of the pandemic, he still thought that even if there are obviously far more important things happening in the world right now, the series offers a nice bit of escapism. The stuff that attracted him to run is the fact that it’s different, funny, exciting and about love—are still reasons to watch it whether you’re in a lockdown or not.
Domhnall Gleeson came a long way and is still journeying to become the best version of himself that he could ever be. Not stepping in the shadows of his veteran actor father, but standing as the Domhnall Gleeson, who invested his blood, sweat, and tears to get to where he is standing right now.
Though unsure if he could make the run like his character Billy did, despite having the same overwhelming moments, unprecedented worries about the decisions he has made, and felt like he built a prison for himself, he knew how refreshing escaping could be and the number of possibilities it could offer. But as running away isn’t the best option in the midst of this pandemic, he has to stay sane in his home in Dublin and cherish the time with his jellies.
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