The Rise of Domhnall Gleeson

If you went to the cinema at all last year, you must have seen a bit of Domhnall Gleeson’s face. After an accomplished year, acting in Star Wars, The Revenant and Ex Machina, we take a look at his seemingly overnight success.

Domhnall Gleeson Irish ActorDomhnall first entered our radar after watching About Time, the Richard Curtis rom-com about a teenager who finds out that the men in his family can travel through time. Like every Richard Curtis picture, this light-hearted concept turns into a story that has real emotional impact, a great lover story and a profound meditation on family.

Our favourite scene truly captured what its like to Live the Irish Life sometimes. Domhnall and Rachel McAdams plan a picturesque wedding, only to have it gatecrashed in epic proportions by a thunderous Irish storm. Read: any barbecue ever.

As you can see at the beinning of this majestic montage, About Time seemed to have Domnhall pegged for the awkward, shy romantic character. This character-type is well-trodden ground in Hollywood, drawing a path through serial self-deprecators Charlie Chaplin, Jack Lemmon, Woody Allen and Steve Carell.

Domnhall certainly has that tool in his belt, and even in the short clip above you can see how much heart he is able to bring to the character. The scene is basically centred around his reactions to McAdams’ entrance, so if his performance had been any less genuine, the moment would have fallen flat.

What is so impressive about Domhnall Gleeson is that he has refused to have his talents tied down. Domhnall has shown great dramatic chops, playing complex, darker characters with a troubled side in Ex Machina and The Revenant. He has also gone full-on evil dictator in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Domhnall Gleeson's acting range

This takes an actor who could have easily been typecast into a Hugh Grant / Michael Cera caricature, into someone who has the potential to be an unlikely star of Hollywood. He is that rare actor who would be as fitting cast as both Bond and a Bond villain.

On the trajectory he is heading, we can definitely see him heading into one of those roles in the future. Maybe we should start the petition for the Domhnall to take over after Daniel Craig is finished with the role. Surely Brosnan can’t be our only representative of an Irish Bond!


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