Plenty of doctors in the house as Brendan takes on his latest role
HOLLYWOOD star and former teacher Brendan Gleeson shared a stage yesterday with a world-renowned nuclear physicist and an acclaimed psychiatrist.
The actor was enjoying a change of scenery from his usual film sets as he donned a cap and gown for an honorary degree ceremony from the National University of Ireland.
"It is great to see the profession of acting being honoured as well," said Gleeson (55), who taught Irish, English and drama before embarking on his career in film.
The 'In Bruges' and 'The General' star received his Doctor of Arts degre alongside Dr Garrett O'Connor, the chief psychiatrist in the Betty Ford Centre for Drug and Alcohol Treatment in the US, and UCC graduate Professor Richard Milner, the director of MIT's Laboratory for Nuclear Science in Boston.
Other famous faces in attendance included Dr O'Connor's brother writer historian Ulick O'Connor.
Gleeson had another reason to celebrate yesterday after it was announced his latest film 'The Guard' had been selected as one of the opening films for the Sundance International Film Festival.
"It is fantastic," he said. "We did that in Connemara last year, and two weeks in Wicklow."
The film was written and directed by John Michael McDonagh and co-starred Fionnuala Flanagan and Liam Cunningham. Gleeson plays Sgt Gerry Boyle, a small-town garda in the comedy thriller, who appears to have no interest in tackling the international cocaine smuggling ring that has brought an FBI agent to his area.
The film will open the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in Utah on January 20 and will go on release in cinemas next year.
"I'm hoping to do some more work with him (McDonagh) as soon as I can," Gleeson said. He added that it was a tough time for the film industry but he hoped acting and films would continue to make people "feel less alone".
"I think that is doubly important in tough times, I'd hope we would be able to raise the spirit a little bit," he said, adding the film industry was a crucial part of the country's recovery.
Gleeson revealed his long-standing plans to produce an adaptation of Flann O'Brien's 'At Swim-Two-Birds' were on track for Spring. The actor is also due to star in a Glenn Close production of 'Albert Nobbs', which will film in Dublin in January.