Internationally-acclaimed Dublin born actor Brendan Gleeson’s latest projects are Adam Smith’s Trespass Against Us with Michael Fassbender, Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette starring Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep and Heart of the Sea directed by Ron Howard.
Other recent projects are Stonehearst Asylum directed by Brad Anderson, the voice of Conor in Cartoon Saloon’s Song of the Sea, directed by Tomm Moore, Doug Liman’s Edge Of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise, Calvary directed by John Michael McDonagh, and The Grand Seduction directed by Don McKellar.
A former teacher, Brendan left that profession to pursue a career in acting – his first love – and joined the Irish theatre company Passion Machine. His rise to fame began when he appeared in Jim Sheridan’s The Field and in the lead role of Michael Collins in The Treaty, followed by a number of small roles in such films as Far and Away and Into The West. It was his role as Hamish in Braveheart alongside Mel Gibson that brought him to the attention of Hollywood.
He landed his first starring role in I Went Down, which was followed by his acclaimed role as gang leader Martin Cahill in John Boorman’s The General. His performance gained him awards for not only Best Actor at the 1998 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards and Best Actor at the 1998 ALFS, but also awards from the London Film Critics and the Best Actor award at the 1999 Irish Film & Television Awards.
Brendan was nominated for Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for his role as Ken in Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges, in which he starred alongside Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes. In the same year Brendan won an Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie and an IFTA for Best Actor in a Lead Role in Television for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the HBO movie Into the Storm, directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe (Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture) and a BAFTA (Leading Actor) for this performance.
Brendan is of course also well-known for his role as Professor Alastor Moody in the Harry Potter films, as well as the role of Sergeant Gerry Boyle in John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard (2011).
Other credits include The Smurfs 2 directed by Raja Gosnell, Safe House directed by Daniel Espinoza, The Raven directed by James McTeigue, Albert Nobbs directed by Rodrigo García, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, Cold Mountain directed by Anthony Minghella, Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven, Breakfast on Pluto directed by Neil Jordan, Wolfgang Peterson’s Troy, Black Irish directed by Brad Gann, Studs directed by Paul Mercier, John Boorman’s The Tiger’s Tail, Beowulf directed by Robert Zemeckis, John Woo’s Mission: Impossible 2, Stephen Spielberg’s AI, John Boorman’s Tailer of Panama and Country of My Skull, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, Perrier’s Bounty directed by Ian Fitzgibbon, and Green Zone directed by Paul Greengrass.
Brendan is also the voice of Abbott Ceallach in the animated feature The Secret of Kells, the Pirate with Gout in Pirates: Band of Misfits!, and the narrator of the Irish-language documentary Seachtar na Cásca.
Brendan is an accomplished musician, and plays the fiddle and mandolin.