Thursday 8 December 2016

Domhnall Gleeson hired Dublin cinema to binge on original Star Wars trilogy in one day

Elaine McCahill

Published 16/12/2015 | 07:49

Actor Domhnall Gleeson arrives at the premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' in Hollywood, California
Actor Domhnall Gleeson arrives at the premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' in Hollywood, California

Not one to take on a role without preparing properly, Domhnall Gleeson hired a private cinema in Dublin so he could watch the first three Star Wars films after landing a role in the franchise.

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The Malahide native got the part of General Hux in The Force Awakensthe day before the now famous table-read with the cast, including Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Domhnall Gleeson attends Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: Actor Domhnall Gleeson attends Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

The 32-year-old admitted he wasn't a diehard fan when he was younger and wanted to see the original trilogy on the big screen before he started filming.

"I wasn't a nut the way some of my friends were," he said. "One of the joys of the experience was going back. I asked for the original trilogy, so I could watch them on the big screen before I shot the film."

He booked a private screening room in Dublin and watched the first three films - Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi - in one day.

"It was amazing. That was one of the big joys of going through it and letting the magic seep in - then leaving it behind to do the job you're doing," he said.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been shot in black and white. Color version not available.) Actor Domhnall Gleeson (L) takes a selfie with a fan during the World Premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 14: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been shot in black and white. Color version not available.) Actor Domhnall Gleeson (L) takes a selfie with a fan during the World Premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)

When it came to shooting the blockbuster, Domhnall said everyone upped their game on set.

"One thing JJ is very good at doing is imbuing a whole set with a very positive atmosphere," he said.

"Every time before they called 'action', if the adrenaline or energy had dropped a little bit, it would be like, 'Everybody - Star Wars! Stand up straight. Come on! How great is this!? Come on! Let's go, let's go! Action'. And then you barrel into it."

Gleeson is set to see his star rise even further thanks to the movie, but he said he doesn't focus on becoming one of the Hollywood elite.

Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I was gifted a happy childhood and we should all be so lucky' - Domhnall Gleeson  

"I've no idea [if I'm entering the A-List]. All I know is, when you read a great script, you know it," he said.

"And I've been lucky - over the course of two years I've got to read a number of them, and got to be in a few. So I'm hoping I can continue that."

Even though he's now an international star, Domhnall said Dublin will always be home. "I love my home. Whereas some people do not like either where they came from or who they grew up with, I'm very lucky - in that all of those things were positive to me," he said.

"I got very, very lucky in the lottery of where you were born," he added.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, said the "incredible beauty" of Skellig Michael will be brought to an unrivalled global audience this week. Some of the final scenes of the highly-anticipated blockbuster were filmed on the island off the Kerry coast in 2014. Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, shot some of his scenes there.

Domhnall Gleeson takes closet fan dad Brendan Gleeson to Star Wars: The Force Awakens world premiere  

"This is arguably the most eagerly anticipated film of all time and it is quite something to think that a remote part of south-west Kerry is set to feature in it," Minister Humphreys said.

"I am looking forward to seeing how the island will feature on the big screen. The impact of this global exposure on our film and tourism sector is hard to quantify.

"I would like, once again, to thank all of those - especially the local people in Kerry - who made it possible.

"The shoot illustrated that Ireland is a fantastic location for major movie production.

"It also showed how, with the right safeguards in place, filmmaking can work in harmony with our stunning natural environment."

Herald

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