List Film

Brendan Gleeson has roles in both Perrier’s Bounty and Green Zone

Brendan Gleeson has roles in both Perrier’s Bounty and Green Zone

Perrier’s Bounty

Brendan Gleeson

29 March, 1955, Dublin, Ireland

The lazy line to take on this scene-stealing character actor is he was a maths teacher for ten years before he decided to become and actor, and got his big break playing Mel Gibson’s right hand man in Braveheart. That’s all true, but it’s not the whole story. Gleeson loved drama from a young age. In school he performed in Waiting for Godot and upon leaving performed at the Dublin Shakespeare Festival then studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He returned to Dublin and continued acting on stage, supporting himself and his family (which now numbers four sons) with teaching, and at some point went back to England to do a couple of seasons at the Royal Shakespeare Company. So by the time Jim Sheridan cast him in The Field in 1990 and Stephen Frears in The Snapper three years later and Gibson two more after that, Gleeson was hardly a newcomer to performing. Swiftly thereafter, Neil Jordan made great use of him in The Butcher Boy as did John Boorman in The General and before he knew it Gleeson was being cast by Scorsese (in Gangs of New York) and Spielberg (A.I.). These days the former teacher alternates between blockbuster (Harry Potters), indies (In Bruges) and prestige pictures (Green Zone).

What’s he up to now?
Currently playing garrulous villain Darren Perrier in Dublin-set crime comedy Perrier’s Bounty.

What he says about playing a comic villain
‘There has to be an element of danger to him. The conflict in this film has to be real. At the same time, he’s a larger than life character. So that was the balance to strike: making sure you don’t have a great time playing this charming gangster, because there’s the presence of evil there. But then bullies don’t find it hard to be funny and terrifying – they always like to have fun at your expense.’

Interesting fact
Gleeson is currently preparing to direct his own adaptation of Irish satirist Flann O’Brien’s novel At Swim-Two-Birds, in which he will appear alongside Gabriel Byrne, Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Perrier’s Bounty and Green Zone are out now.

Green Zone

  • 4 stars
  • 2010
  • US
  • 114 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Paul Greengrass
  • Written by: Brian Helgeland
  • Cast: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Amy Ryan, Khalid Abdalla, Jason Isaacs

This very adult thriller dissects the lies that were told to enable and maintain the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Adapted from Rajiv Chandrasekaran's brilliant 2007 non-fiction book 'Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone', this is a brave and intelligent attempt to engage with a very recent history and its…

Perrier's Bounty

  • 3 stars
  • 2009
  • Ireland/UK
  • 84 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Ian Fitzgibbon
  • Written by: Mark O'Rowe
  • Cast: Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Jodie Whittaker, Liam Cunningham

After an accidental shooting, charismatic Dublin gangster Michael McCrea (Murphy) goes on the run from local gangster Perrier (Gleeson) with his fey neighbour Brenda (Jodie Whittaker) and his coke-snorting, hypochondriac father Jim (Broadbent). Screenwriter Mark O'Rowe indulges in long stretches of shameless cod-Tarantino…


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