Today, Brendan Gleeson turns 59 years old. He is a great Irish character actor. He has the distinction of being the only living Irish character actor to never appear in an episode of Ballykissangel. I really like him because he’s so amazingly likable up there on the screen. And that’s even true when he’s playing hard characters. Some kind of humanity always comes through.
Most recently, I saw him in In Bruges, where he played the thoroughly decent assassin Ken. As I wrote earlier, “I felt very connected with him: an older man who has lived a mixed life and who now just wants to enjoy the little things that are left.” Gleeson also puts in layered performances, although he usually doesn’t have such rich material to work as Martin McDonagh’s script. Here’s a nice bit:
Gleeson is probably best known for playing Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody in that worker’s project for English-ish character actors known as the Harry Potter films. I think there are 29 of them now, but Gleeson is only in three of them, and he dies at the beginning of the third. Here he is in the only one I’ve managed to get all the way through, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, although all is not as it appears:
Happy birthday Brendan Gleeson!