Irish filmmaker and actor Brendan Gleeson is best known for playing Winston Churchill in Into the Storm. The Emmy Award winner is all set to appear in Todd Phillips’ Joker: Folie a Deux, a sequel of Oscar awardee Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker (2019). The Warner Bros. production will also cast Hollywood superstars Robert De Niro, Lady Gaga and Zazie Beetz.
Gleeson, like Alan Rickman, is probably best recognised worldwide as Mad Eye Moody from the Harry Potter films. But putting the kid wizard aside, Gleeson has always delivered outstanding performances, whether they were in supporting roles, comedic cameos, or the lead character. He is all set to appear in The Banshees of Inisherin, an upcoming comedy-drama film which is set to release on October 21, this year.
Gleeson is a versatile actor who can play a variety of characters, including a selfless priest, a zombie survivor, a foul-mouthed police officer, or a violent vagrant. Here are Brendan’s top five must-watch movies and shows.
1. A.I (Artificial Intelligence)- Directed by Steven Spielberg
In A.I, Gleeson treats the main character David (Haley Joel Osment) like a freak of nature, and his speech is delivered in Gaelic with added force to emphasise how ridiculous this situation is, evoking anarchist achievements and dark shades of villainy.
Gleeson offers a flamboyant performance, more in keeping with a theatrical villain than some of his more nuanced roles, but he excels at conveying the actual loathing people may have towards robots. He also makes for a great circus owner with a penchant for elegant language.
2. The Guard- Directed by John Michael McDonagh
A movie that stereotypes Irish people but also simultaneously upholds the culture, history, and language of the Irish people.
To put everything in perspective, there’s Gleeson’s bombastic, bewildering Sergeant Gerry Boyle, a character who hasn’t caught on to the turn of the century and is sincere in his interactions with others despite using politically incorrect language sheds light on the complex intersectional interactions between people and the cultural evolution of characters.
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3. The General- Directed by John Boorman
One of Ireland’s most notorious and brutal gangsters, Martin Cahill played by Brendan Gleeson, is killed at the beginning of this fact-based movie. Cahill considers his life as he passes away, including how he was raised on Dublin’s impoverished streets, spent time in reform school, started stealing at a young age, and went from being a small-time burglar to a powerful crime boss known for his blatant armed robberies. Ned Kenny, a tenacious police officer played by Oscar winner Jon Voight, pursued him relentlessly throughout the movie.
In his breakthrough role, Gleeson expertly balanced being both dreadful and likeable as real-life criminal boss Martin Cahill.
4. Into The Storm- Directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan
Brendan Gleeson picked up an Emmy award in 2009 for his portrayal of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the acclaimed biopic Into the Storm directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan.
The BBC and HBO co-produced the 2009 biopic which highlights Winston Churchill’s career as Prime Minister throughout the Second World War as well as his relationship with his family and political allies from around the globe. The movie primarily swings between sequences depicting Churchill’s most illustrious political achievements and his (often strained) connection with his family, especially his wife, Clementine, who must remain content with his stern demeanour.
In summary, the movie successfully captures the essence of Winston Churchill, highlighting both his strengths and weaknesses.
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5. The Comedy Rule – Directed by Billy Ray
This two-part event series, played by Jeff Daniels and Brendan Gleeson, respectively, as former FBI Director James Comey and President Donald J. Trump, is the story of two strong men whose profoundly dissimilar morals and allegiances set them on a collision path.
Part one focuses on the examination of Hillary Clinton’s character and her influence on the election. Part two is a description of the first few months of Trump’s administration, during which friends and foes switched sides and the truth relied on which side you are on.