'Seeing Harrison Ford at a table-read hit a one liner is one of the most special moments of my life' - Domhnall Gleeson
Domhnall Gleeson has revealed that a table read with the original cast of Star Wars was one of the highlights of working on the new JJ Abrams instalment in the series.
The 32-year-old Dublin actor plays General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and being present when Harrison Ford channelled Han Solo again was particularly special.
"Seeing Harrison Ford at a table read hit a one liner is one of the most special moments of my life," he told Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio 1.
As well as the table read, Gleeson spent time with the original cast at Comic Con, where attention from fans was "insane".
"It was full on, it was really full on but I think you have to concentrate on not taking it too seriously," he says of the buzz.
"People are there because they want to be there. I do populate part of the film but I’m not one of the leads so the hysteria is pointed in a slightly different direction than at me in particular.
"It does make it easier. It’s a different experience for Daisy [Ridley], or Oscar [Isaac], Adam [Driver] or John [Boyega] or someone who had a really huge part in the film."
Details of the plot are scant with the studio releasing limited clips revealing very little information.
"They’ve tried to keep their cards pretty close to their chest and its bizarre it has worked so far, they’ve kept a lot of the movie just for the movie to see when you go to the cinema which is impressive," says Domhnall.
What we do know is that Gleeson's character is a villain, complete with English accent.
“That’s how it works generally, apart from Alec Guinness, people with English accents tend to be evil in some way so my guy is probably not classed as a nice man," says Domhnall.
"You would think one of these people would start wearing white to infiltrate the disgusting do-gooders but they keep on wearing black and getting spotted a mile away!"
Of new Star Wars director JJ Abrams, he said, "He's incredible. He's really good with actors and with action, which is not a usual combination for a lot of directors. They’re either good at one or the other or neither so the fact he’s so brilliant at both is amazing."
Although he does not feel the series needs "rescuing" from George Lucas's less well-received three prequels, he believes this new film has "gone back to basics" and will channel the original three films.
"There is something just unapologetically epic and you know it’s not childish but childlike I guess in the way it makes you feel about the whole thing," he says.
"There’s a really good chance this film will really do that again, get back to that kind of aesthetic of the original three."
Domhnall is currently starring in Brooklyn, which has been nabbing awards left, right and centre. Fellow star Saoirse Ronan has just picked up the Best Actress award at the British Independent Film Awards and has been nominated in the same category for a Golden Globe.
"My main reason for doing the film, I don’t have a huge amount to do in it, but it was an opportunity to stand opposite Saoirse and work together," he said. "She is amazing."
He also stars opposite Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hardy in the upcoming The Revenant, helmed by Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu, which he says boasts a visceral bear attack scene, "the most amazing thing I've ever seen".
"It's brutal in lots of ways, but it's really beautiful," added Domhnall.