Thursday 20 June 2019

WATCH: Domnhall Gleeson talks to Independent.ie about Ex Machina, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and working with the family

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Domhnall Gleeson is everywhere lately, appearing in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, his new sci-fi Ex Machina, and on stage at the Olympia with his dad Brendan and brother Brian in The Walworth Farce.

He worries, he says, about being over-exposed.

"I feel like I do too much press sometimes," he says.  "Because people get sick of seeing people.  We just did a lot of press for The Walworth Farce, but I'm hugely proud of this movie [Ex Machina] so I want poeple to go to see it so I do the press."

He continues, "So many  films disappear you know that actually and the chance of some of them hanging on is pretty remote.  I think this has got a really good chance.  That's what you want to be doing, you want to find the good ones.  Some don't end up as good as you had hoped they'll be but this is one of the ones I think has done."

Ex Machina is written and directed by Alex Garland and Domhnall stars as a programmer at an internet-search giant who wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company's brilliant and reclusive CEO(Oscar Isaac). Upon his arrival, he learns he's been chosen to be the human component in a Turing Test-charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and emotional intelligence of his latest AI project (Alicia Vikander).

"It was intense," says Domhnall.  "It was definitely intense, but there were plenty of laughs to be had.  We had to because everyone was so tense all the time.  And the scenes with Ava [Alicia] were in a little glass box in a heatwave in July in London so it was sweltering hot. 

"The stakes were high all the time, you feel the weight of the film on top of you.  It's a tense kind of movie so it always had to have that feeling but it was shot in 6 weeks and it was a great six weeks and we were in NOrway for the last few out in the cold and on the glacier."

Whilst the world wants to know details of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the cast are sworn to secrecy, which is how it should be, according to Domhnall.

"The rules are so set from the minute I signed on the dotted line," he says.  "As soon as you sign that you know what you're letting yourself in for.  I go on 'Ain'titCool' and read about other movies so I understand the desire for more information but I think JJ is right.  You want everyone to go in and not know all the secrets.  You want people to go to STar Wars the same way they'd go to Ex Machina nad not have too many expectations or too many thoughts about what it is and rather let the film happen to them."

Domhnall says that although interest in the film has increased, it hasn't increased in him.

"I feel that my life has never changed because of work really excpect I've got to do more work, which is the ideal scenario.  Poeple are excited about it but they've said the same thing about Ex Machina and the play I'm doign so it all feels pretty OK at the moment.  Maybe that will change."

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