Domhnall Gleeson

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Domhnall Gleeson
Domhnall Gleeson by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Born (1983-05-12) 12 May 1983 (age 34)
Dublin, Ireland
Residence Dublin, Ireland
Occupation Actor, writer
Years active 2004–present
Parent(s) Brendan Gleeson
Mary Weldon
Relatives Brian Gleeson (brother)

Domhnall Gleeson (/ˈdnəl ˈɡlsən/;[1] born 12 May 1983) is an Irish actor and writer. He is the son of actor Brendan Gleeson, alongside whom he has appeared in several films and theatre projects, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts from Dublin Institute of Technology.

During the early stages of his career, Gleeson directed and wrote several short films, garnered a Tony Award nomination in 2006 for his role in the Broadway production The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and had a supporting role in Never Let Me Go. He became known to a wider audience for his portrayal of Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter film franchise (2010–2011), Konstantin Levin in Anna Karenina (2012), Tim Lake in About Time, and Russell Allen Phillips in fact-based war drama Unbroken (2014).

In 2015, Gleeson received widespread recognition and praise for his performances in four Academy Award-nominated films: Caleb in Ex Machina, Jim Farrell in Brooklyn, Captain Andrew Henry in The Revenant, Mother! (alongside his brother, Brian), and, most prominently, General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. His upcoming film roles include a portrayal of A. A. Milne in Goodbye Christopher Robin, and a live-action adaptation of Peter Rabbit; he will also reprise his role as Hux in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Early life[edit]

Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland, the oldest son of Mary (née Weldon) and actor Brendan Gleeson,[2] he has three brothers: Fergus, Brian (also an actor), and Rúairí. He attended Malahide Community School, and later graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts from the Dublin Institute of Technology.[3]


Domhnall Gleeson at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival

After graduating, Gleeson began directing and writing for both film and stage, he first appeared in the British television miniseries Rebel Heart in 2001 with James D'Arcy and Paloma Baeza.[3] Gleeson made his film debut in Martin McDonagh's short film Six Shooter in 2004, which starred his father, the film won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.[4] He was featured in a small role in the 2005 horror comedy Boy Eats Girl;[3] in 2006, Gleeson starred in the feature film Studs, with his father appearing alongside him.[3]

He was among the main cast members of RTÉ comedy television series The Last Furlong in 2005.[3] Gleeson appeared on the Broadway theatre show The Lieutenant of Inishmore at age twenty-three, receiving a Tony Award nomination for his role as the dim-witted Davey;[5][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.[6] The role was described as "wittily played" by Irish Independent critic Bruce Arnold.[7] Earlier that year he had a role as Bobby in the David Mamet play American Buffalo, also at the Gate Theatre.[8]

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] in March 2009, it was confirmed that he had been cast as Bill Weasley in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.[9][10] His father, Brendan, plays Alastor Moody in the series.[9][10] Gleeson had initially been reluctant to act alongside his father in the same film but later changed his mind.[11] 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 role'."[10] The 2009 HBO television film A Dog Year starring Jeff Bridges, featured Gleeson as handyman Anthony Armstrong.[12] Also that year, in the film Sensation Gleeson played the role of a young farmer whose "soulless encounter" with a call-girl "develops into a bittersweet love story".[13][14]

His first release of 2010 was the dystopian romance Never Let Me Go, starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield.[15] Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 was released in November 2010, with the Part 2 being released the following July. His portrayal of Bill Weasley, Ron Weasley's older brother, exposed Gleeson to a wider audience,[16] the multi Academy Award nominated Coen Brothers' film True Grit featured Gleeson as Moon, a young outlaw.[15] He portrayed musician Bob Geldof as he organizes the 1985 Live Aid concert in the television film When Harvey Met Bob, which was brodcast on BBC Four on 26 December 2010.[17] Gleeson won the 2011 Ifta Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film;[18] in the drama Shadow Dancer, released in August 2012, he played an IRA member whose own sister informs on him to the MI5.[19] Gleeson played landowner Kostya Levin in the historical romance Anna Karenina, based on the Leo Tolstoy novel.[20] The Daily Telegraph critic Tim Robey praised his performance, saying Gleeson "nails Levin’s adorable self-seriousness without sentimentalising what can make him hard work."[21] His final release of 2012 was the science fiction action film Dredd starring Karl Urban as the titular Judge Dredd, in which he played an unnamed computer expert working for the gang Dredd battles against.[22]

Gleeson made a guest appearance in "Be Right Back", an episode of the science-fiction anthology series Black Mirror alongside Hayley Atwell as a man who is killed in a car crash, but returns to his lover as an android.[23] Gleeson played Konstantin Levin in the film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel Anna Karenina,[24] 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,[25] the story follows a young man, played by Gleeson, who uses time travel to win over "the girl of his dreams", played by Rachel McAdams. Filming took place in London, England, in June 2012.[25]

In 2014, he portrayed Jon in the Lenny Abrahamson film Frank, starring alongside Michael Fassbender.

In 2015, he played Caleb in Alex Garland's directorial debut Ex Machina and Jim Farrell in Brooklyn.[26] He played Captain Andrew Henry in the Oscar-awarded film The Revenant and General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

In 2017, he appeared in Darren Aronofsky's horror film mother!, and will have roles in five more films, American Made, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, Crash Pad, and Goodbye Christopher Robin.

Personal life[edit]

Gleeson shares a love of the English Championship team Aston Villa with his father Brendan, he described the team's FA Cup semifinal win over Liverpool at Wembley Stadium in 2015, as one of the "great days of my life".[27]

Along with his father and brother Brian, Gleeson created and stars in the Immatürity For Charity sketches, which raises money for the St. Francis Hospice in Raheny, Dublin, it also stars Laurence Kinlan, Tadhg Murphy and Amy Huberman.[28]



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Six Shooter Cashier Short film
2005 Boy Eats Girl Bernard
2006 Studs Trampis
2009 A Dog Year Anthony Armstrong
What Will Survive of Us Short film; writer and director
Perrier's Bounty Clifford
Corduroy[29] Mahon Short film
2010 Never Let Me Go Rodney
Sensation Donal Duggan
Noreen Short film; writer and director
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Bill Weasley
True Grit Moon
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Bill Weasley
2012 Shadow Dancer Connor McVeigh
Dredd Clan Techie
Anna Karenina Konstantin Levin
2013 About Time Tim Lake
2014 Frank Jon Burroughs
Calvary Freddie Joyce
Unbroken Russell Allen Phillips
2015 Ex Machina Caleb Smith
Brooklyn Jim Farrell
Star Wars: The Force Awakens General Hux
The Revenant Andrew Henry
2016 The Tales of Thomas Burberry Thomas Burberry Short film
2017 American Made Monty Schafer
Mother! Oldest Son
Crash Pad Stensland
Goodbye Christopher Robin A. A. Milne
Star Wars: The Last Jedi General Hux Awaiting release
A Futile and Stupid Gesture Henry Beard Post-production
2018 Peter Rabbit Mr. McGregor Post-production
The Little Stranger Dr. Faraday Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Rebel Heart Byrne 1 episode
2005 The Last Furlong Sean Flanagan 3 episodes
2010 Your Bad Self Various 6 episodes; also writer
When Harvey Met Bob Bob Geldof TV film
2012 Immatürity for Charity Various Fundraiser
2013 Black Mirror Ash Episode: "Be Right Back"
2016 Earth's Greatest Spectacles Narrator 3 episodes
2017 Catastrophe Dan 2 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role
2016 Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens General Hux

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2006 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Play The Lieutenant of Inishmore Nominated
2007 Irish Film and Television Awards Breakthrough Talent Studs Nominated
2011 Berlin International Film Festival Shooting Stars Award Won
Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actor in a Lead Role in Television When Harvey Met Bob Won
Tribeca Film Festival Jury Award: Best Narrative Short Noreen Nominated
2012 British Independent Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Shadow Dancer Nominated
Hamptons International Film Festival Breakthrough Performer Anna Karenina Won
2013 Empire Awards Best Male Newcomer Nominated
Irish Film and Television Awards Best Supporting Actor Film Won
2014 Best Lead Actor – Film About Time Nominated
2015 Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Film Frank Won
Awards Circuit Community Awards Best Cast Ensemble Star Wars: The Force Awakens Nominated
British Independent Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Brooklyn Nominated
2016 Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Film Nominated
Best Actor in a Lead Role – Film Ex Machina Nominated
Saturn Award Best Actor Nominated
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards Best Ensemble Nominated
Actor of the Year Runner-up


  1. ^ Entertainment Weekly (2015-05-01), The definitive pronunciation of 'Domhnall Gleeson' by Domhnall Gleeson, retrieved 2016-08-31 
  2. ^ Gleeson, B. (1989). Breaking Up. Passion Machine. ISBN 9781872313009. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "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. ^ Spencer, Charles (28 June 2002). "Devastating masterpiece of black comedy". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  6. ^ "Domhnall Gleeson–Actor". Irish Independent. 24 November 2007. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  7. ^ Arnold, Bruce (29 November 2007). "Festive fare for all the family lives up to the greatest of expectations". Irish Independent. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  8. ^ "American Buffalo". RTÉ. 16 February 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "Bill Nighy in "Die Heiligtümer des Todes"". (German). 1 July 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c "Headlines: Tony Nominee Domhnall Gleeson to Appear in Final Harry Potter Films". 9 March 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  11. ^ "Domhnall Gleeson confirmed as Bill Weasley for 'Deathly Hallows'". HPANA. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  12. ^ Hale, Mike (September 2, 2009). "A Grumpy Guy Who Barks a Lot Finds a Peer". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  13. ^ "Follow-Up May Keep Hall From Edinburgh". California Chronicle. 12 June 2009. Archived from the original on 2 August 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  14. ^ "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." 
  15. ^ a b Gritten, David (27 August 2013). "About Time: Domhnall Gleeson on being Richard Curtis's new leading man". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  16. ^ Vincent, Alice (27 August 2013). "Domhnall Gleeson: 'I was a Weasley waiting for a role'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  17. ^ McCormick, Neil (22 December 2010). "Bob Geldof, Harvey Goldsmith – and the truth about Live Aid". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  18. ^ Gibley, Ryan (16 August 2012). "Domhnall Gleeson: 'Handsome is not really where I'm at'". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  19. ^ Jolin, Dan (28 July 2012). "Shadow Dancer Review". Empire. Retrieved 22 September 2017. 
  20. ^ Lussier, Germain (4 June 2011). "Joe Wright’s ‘Anna Karenina’ Welcomes Saoirse Ronan, Kelly Macdonald, Olivia Williams And More". /Film. Retrieved 22 September 2017. 
  21. ^ Robey, Tim (6 September 2016). "Anna Karenina, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 September 2017. 
  22. ^ Mellor, Louisa (8 July 2011). "Domhnall Gleeson gives new details of Dredd movie". Den of Geek. Retrieved 22 September 2017. 
  23. ^ Sims, David (3 December 2013). "Black Mirror: “Be Right Back”". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 22 September 2017. 
  24. ^ "Domhnall Gleeson Lands Role in Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina'". IFTN. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  25. ^ a b Kit, Borys (10 May 2012). "Rachel McAdams to Star in Working Title's 'About Time' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  26. ^ Barton, Steve (2 March 2015). "Ex Machina – New Poster Shows Off Assets". Dread Central. 
  27. ^ "Star Wars actor Gleeson: Villa Wembley win was special day". Aston Villa F.C. 13 May 2015. Archived from the original on 16 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  28. ^ "Domhnall Gleeson: Immaturity for Charity". 25 September 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2016. 
  29. ^ "Corduroy (2009)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 

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