Thursday 29 September 2016

'Seeing Harrison Ford at a table-read hit a one liner is one of the most special moments of my life' - Domhnall Gleeson

Published 11/12/2015 | 12:08

ctors Domhnall Gleeson (L), Harrison Ford and more than 6000 fans enjoyed a surprise
ctors Domhnall Gleeson (L), Harrison Ford and more than 6000 fans enjoyed a surprise "Star Wars" Fan Concert performed by the San Diego Symphony, featuring the classic "Star Wars" music of composer John Williams, at the Embarcadero Marina Park South on July 10, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

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.

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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".

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

"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.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 06: Actor Domhnall Gleeson accepts the award for Best Supporting Actor on behalf of his father Brendan Gleeson at The Moet British Independent Film Awards 2015 on December 6, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for The Moet British Independent Film Awards)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 06: Actor Domhnall Gleeson accepts the award for Best Supporting Actor on behalf of his father Brendan Gleeson at The Moet British Independent Film Awards 2015 on December 6, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for The Moet British Independent Film Awards)

“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.

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