There’s a line on The Pirates of the Caribbean ride in which the animatronic pirates yell “We wants the redhead!” This phrase perfectly describes my obsession with Domhnall Gleeson.
Domhnall (pronounced “doh-nall”) Gleeson was born on May 12, 1983 in Dublin, Ireland to actor Brendan Gleeson and Mary (Weldon) Gleeson. He is the eldest of three brothers: Fergus, Brian (also an actor) and Rory. He attended Malahide Community School and got a degree in media arts from the Dublin Institute of Technology.
After graduating and in the early stages of his career, Domhnall directed and wrote for both film and stage. In 2001, he made his television debut in the British miniseries Rebel Heart with James D’Arcy. Next, he starred in the Academy Award winning film short Six Shooter, the television series The Last Furlong and the film Boy Eats Girls. In 2006, he garnered a Tony Award nomination for his role in the Broadway production The Lieutenant of Inishmore and starred alongside his father in the film Studs. He appeared in a few other stage productions and films before his breakout role as Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise, also starring his father. Also in 2010, he had a supporting role in Never Let Me Go alongside Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield and in True Grit with Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges.
In 2012, Domhnall along with his father and brother Brian, created and starred in the Immaturity For Charity sketches, which raises money for the St. Francis Hospice in Raheny, Dublin. In 2013, he starred in an episode of the science fiction horror series Black Mirror with Haley Atwell. In 2014, he would star alongside his father again in the film Calvary and in Angelina’s war drama Unbroken.
I admit that I’m a big Harry Potter nerd, but I first noticed Domhnall in 2012’s Anna Karenina as Konstantin Levin, the sweet farmer looking for love in the film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel. My heart broke when he proposed to Kitty via alphabetical blocks and was rejected and then spent the entire movie depressed. Then there was his role in 2013’s About Time, a romantic comedy about a man who uses time travel to win over the girl of his dreams. I mean, who wouldn’t want a guy to do that for her? In 2014’s Frank, he showcased his singing talents as Jon, the musician who joins an eccentric pop band. Michael Fassbender, who I love dearly, played the films title role, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of Domhnall. Granted Fassy was under a huge paper mache head for most of the movie. 😉
And then 2015 happened! Domhnall received widespread recognition and praise for his performance in four Academy Award nominated films. In Ex Machina, he plays Caleb, a young programmer selected to participate in a groundbreaking experiment in synthetic intelligence. In Brooklyn as Jim Farrell, the perfect hometown suitor that keeps Ellis, played by Saoirse Ronan, in Ireland for longer than she had planned. In The Revenant, he plays the honorable and dignified Captain Andrew Henry alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. But the role that got him the most notoriety was as General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I was so used to Domhnall in his sympathetic roles that I was not prepared for the cruel and cold demeanor. And maybe I liked it? 😉
Next up for my readhead is American Made with Tom Cruise, the Darren Aronofksy film Mother! with Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, a portrayal of Winnie the Pooh creator author A.A. Milne, a live action adaptation of Peter Rabbit and of course Star Wars: The Last Jedi. 2017 looks like a very good year indeed! Granted we have to wait another year to see our redhead on screen again, but until then I will watch the 3 minute short The Tale of Thomas Burberry on repeat and chant “We Wants the Redhead” until then! 😉