Thursday 23 November 2017

Domhnall Gleeson: 'I'm not afraid of blockbuster failure'

Actor Domhnall Gleeson (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Actor Domhnall Gleeson (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Elaine McCahill

Domhnall Gleeson said he doesn't feel any pressure to "stay on a roll" after starring in a string of blockbusters.

The 32-year-old has had a stellar year, with parts in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ex Machina, Brooklyn and new survival movie The Revenant.

"For a couple of years now, the projects I've had, there's none of them I would say, 'Well, we tried, but it didn't quite work'," Gleeson said.

"I'm very lucky to have been part of some extraordinary films.

Actor Domhnall Gleeson attends Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's
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)

"I try harder to get the films that are of better quality, the films that speak to me. With each of those you're going to take risks, and some of those risks won't pay off. I've been lucky that most of the risks have paid off.

"But it has to be OK to fail. So I'm not putting any pressure on to continue a roll. Keep on taking risks and it'll be fine; if you fail a couple of times, that's fine too."

Domhnall Gleeson
Domhnall Gleeson

The Malahide native filmed The Revenant in freezing conditions in Canada last year, and tales of the tough conditions on set have become Hollywood legend - like co-star Leonardo DiCaprio eating a raw bison liver.

The film follows a group of fur trappers in the 1800s, with Gleeson playing the leader, Captain Andrew Henry. When one of their men, Hugh Glass - played by DiCaprio - is attacked by a bear, Domhnall's character makes the decision to leave him behind in the care of two men while they return to base.

However, they bury him alive and he battles the elements to seek revenge on the group for leaving him.

"I don't think any of us knew quite how far we would have to go and would be willing to go to get what was necessary for the film," Domhnall says.

"It was a real test of endurance and belief. You can see that up on screen, because we shot it chronologically - we've aged over the course of the film.

"But it was nice to see that no one ever stopped believing in the film."

Domhnall recently said the cast - which also includes Tom Hardy - really looked after each other in the tough conditions.

"You know, everybody has down days, and everybody has up days," he explains. "Everybody has times when it just feels like a lot. And you're away from your family for a long time.


"So it was important that we all looked after each other. It was a good group of guys and a really good group of actors," he added.

While some actors distance themselves from their famous parents, Domhnall said he would love to emulate his father Brendan's (above) career.

"Obviously, my father is an amazing example as an actor and as a man, so in the back of your head you're thinking 'Well, if I could have a quarter of the career of my dad, then I would be hugely happy'," he admitted.

The Revenant is in cinemas nationwide from Friday, January 15.

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