Monday 21 May 2018

Domhnall Gleeson: 'I got so thin for Unbroken role that my contacts wouldn't fit'

Domhnall Gleeson pictured at the Screen Cinema for the Irish premiere tonight of his new movie
Domhnall Gleeson pictured at the Screen Cinema for the Irish premiere tonight of his new movie "Unbroken" which was directed by Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie on the set of Unbroken with Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrock
Domhnall Gleeson in Unbroken
Domhnall Gleeson and Jack O'Connell in Unbroken
Domhnall Gleeson (left) in a scene from his new movie Unbroken
Domhnall Gleeson. Photo: PA Wire
Domhnall Gleeson. Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD: Domhnall Gleeson with Rachel McAdams at the premiere of Richard Curtis movie About Time.
At the first day of rehersals for The Walworth Farce, at Clasac, Dublin, were, Brendan Gleeson and his sons, Brian Gleeson, and Domhnall Gleeson.. Photo: Colin Keegan

Elaine McCahill

Domhnall Gleeson has revealed that he lost so much weight for his role in World War Two drama Unbroken that his contact lenses stopped fitting his eyes.

Angelina Jolie's Unbroken tells the story of Olympic long-distance runner and Air Force bombardier Louis Zamperini (played by Jack O'Connell), and his struggles to survive as a prisoner of war of the Japanese before the end of the war.

Before his capture, Zamperini's plane crashes into the Pacific Ocean and he is stranded at sea with two other soldiers, one of which is Domhnall's character Francis McNamara.

Read more: Michael Fassbender is one of 2014's highest earning Hollywood stars

"It was a great experience. A tough one but a great one," Gleeson admitted.

The soldiers' plight at sea and experience at a prisoner of war camp meant that Domhnall had to lose weight for the role.

Angelina Jolie on the set of Unbroken with Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrock
Angelina Jolie on the set of Unbroken with Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson and Finn Wittrock
Domhnall Gleeson in Unbroken
Domhnall Gleeson and Jack O'Connell in Unbroken
Domhnall Gleeson (left) in a scene from his new movie Unbroken
At the first day of rehersals for The Walworth Farce, at Clasac, Dublin, were, Brendan Gleeson and his sons, Brian Gleeson, and Domhnall Gleeson.. Photo: Colin Keegan
Domhnall Gleeson. Photo: PA Wire
Domhnall Gleeson. Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD: Domhnall Gleeson with Rachel McAdams at the premiere of Richard Curtis movie About Time.

"Towards the end, getting toward the dehydration phase, I had to wear these contact lenses, because their eyes were red," he said.

Read more: Unbroken - 'feels plodding and episodic rather than inspirational'

"My contact lenses stopped fitting my eyes, because I was so dehydrated and had lost so much weight that everything had changed.

"But we were still trying to screw them in there - and you were hungry and overworked and physically and mentally exhausted - so then it got to the place where it wasn't much fun.

Angie reminded me of it. I had forgotten totally. I've shut out some of the experience," he told the Huffington Post.

The coming year is set to be jam-packed for the 31-year-old as he is appearing on stage with his dad Brendan and his brother Brian in The Walworth Farce at the Olympia, but he is also starring in Alex Garland's Ex Machina; Brooklyn with Saoirse Ronan and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

His role in Star Wars is one of his biggest to date and he will be excited to see the finished product next December.

Read more: WATCH: Brian and Domhnall Gleeson star in Squarehead music video in aid of St Francis' Hospice

"It just made me very excited," Gleeson said of watching the trailer for the first time.

"I felt like a kid again. I finished it with a big stupid smile plastered on my face.

"It was exactly the kind of feel that I was hoping the movie would have. If the movie feels the same way as the trailer, we're going to be in good shape," he added.

Herald

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