Brendan always wanted to play a priest
DIRECTOR John Michael McDonagh has told of how casting Brendan Gleeson in his latest movie, 'Calvary', was easy because the actor told him he'd always wanted to play a priest.
Last year, the filmmaker enjoyed huge box-office success with 'The Guard', starring Gleeson.
The pair have now teamed up for another film, set for release in 2013, and McDonagh admitted that the idea arose during a conversation after 'The Guard' had just wrapped.
"Brendan said jokingly, 'I've always wanted to play a good priest'. So I wrote it while editing 'The Guard' and Brendan luckily agreed to do it.
"He's a very committed actor and very detailed in his preparation.
"When other actors see that commitment, they come to the film in the same way."
Gleeson noted that while his character in 'Calvary' is very different to that in 'The Guard', there is a subtle underlying similarity.
"There are obviously elements that come from a certain McDonagh person and certain bits of me that go flying in a different direction."
Gleeson (57) said he's enjoyed the challenge of his latest role so far, especially as he's wearing a cassock in the wake of clerical abuse revelations in Ireland.
"Myself and John had a discussion about the notion of being a good man under fire -- with good reason -- because of the uniform."