I am very happy to have discovered this community as I am a big fan of Brendan. I have written a little tribute to Brendan - which basically just consists of a line or two about each of his film's that I have seen (and written with an Irish tint, as that is my background), which I have pasted in below if anyone would like a read...
Why the Irish actor Brendan Gleeson is the best character actor working today…
(And, by the way, the term ‘character actor’ is used as a compliment of the highest order).
Because he lent his formidable presence to John B Keane’s powerful parable on Irish identity and violent repression in The Field.
Because he depicted one of the titans of Irish history, Michael Collins with, some would say, even more authority than the worthy Liam Neeson could muster some years later (in Neil Jordan’s biopic of Collins), in the TV movie, The Treaty.
Because he understood that Into the West was more than just another ‘Oirish’ exploitation movie – proving itself to be a genuinely moving tale of two traveller children’s love for their mother (okay, maybe thats a big pile of hairy bollox but it was okay!)
Because he endured, not for the last time, the presence of the most intense scientologist in Tinseltown, Tom Cruise in the twee ‘Oirish’ nightmare, Far & Away.
Because he lent a real sense of Joycean-Dublin charm to his muddle-headed barfly philosopher, Lester, in. The Snapper.
Because he wielded a mighty axe, Billygoat beard and yet a softer side too, in Braveheart and did not strike Mel Gibson with it when he had the chance (damn!)
Because he strode across the stage of Irish history once more in Neil Jordan’s epic Michael Collins and we knew he was home in every sense.
Because he rejoined the formidable Richard Harris, whom he first worked alongside in The Field, and the always reliably haunted Stephen Rea, in Trojan Eddie.
Because he plunged into the bittersweet madness of Jordan’s The Butcher Boy and doubtless genuflected when the Baldy Holy Mother, Sinead o ’Connor did gracefully appear.
Because he reached a career high, as the fragile but dignified Bunny Kelly in Conor McPherson’s modern Irish masterpiece, I Went Down.
Because he topped this career high in his very next movie, John Boorman’s masterful The General, based on the life of notorious Dublin criminal, Martin ‘the General’ Cahill. Playing a character of such complexity, wit and contradiction, Gleeson launched himself into the pantheon of the great character actors of our time.
Because he understood the limits of the Irish film industry as he settled modestly on a supporting role, as a policeman, in the sentimental but poignant Irish-American drama, This Is My Father.
Because he adopted engrossing shades of Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ in playing the dangerously naïve, Sweety Barrett, a simple but honest character lost amidst the melancholy and brutality of the Irish small town.
Because he showcased his humour and affection for the cinematic form in Lake Placid, alongside Rose from The Golden Girls.
Because, impossible as it seems, he once again endured the intense Scientologist dwarf, Tom Cruise, on the set of Mission Impossible II
Because he worked with the mighty Brian Cox - the man who, alongside Albert Finney and Anthony Hopkins, could easily lay claim to being the greatest British actor of his generation (were he so immodestly inclined) – in Conor McPherson’s Saltwater.
Because he worked alongside the affable fellow Irish man, Pierce Brosnan, in John Boorman’s remake of The Tailor of Panama.
Because he worked with Spielberg’s well-intentioned, but hopelessly saccharine, butchering of the late Stanley Kubrick’s Artificial Intelligence: AI, taking Gleeson into the Hollywood bigtime in the process.
Because he was the coolest cabbie (and indeed the only cabbie!) in London in the cracking zombie shocker, 28 Days Later.
Because, alongside the always electric Daniel Day Lewis, he cracked skulls with some aplomb as the ‘Monk’ in Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.
Because he endured not only the presence of Nicole Kidman for the second time in his career (the first being the aforementioned Far & Away), but also of the sour-puss and prissy pout-a-muffin, Renee Zelwegger, in the odious Cold Mountain
Because he no doubt managed to rationalise that his presence on the set of the deeply dull Troy, whilst painful, was nevertheless worth it in order to grant him time in the luminous presence of the effervescent Julie Christie (and, once again, Brian Cox and the majestic Peter O’ Toole).
Because he did not burst out laughing every time he heard the embarrassingly over-rated M. Night Shyamalan described as a “great director’ whilst being interviewed for The Village.
Because he watched Ridley Scott closely in the making of his abysmal Kingdom of Heaven, most likely picking up handy warning tips on how not to direct, (Brendan has since signified his intention to direct and is, in fact, working on just such a project now).
Because he teamed up again with promising young Irish actor in the ascendancy, Cillian Murphy, for the making of Neil Jordan’s cross-dressing character study, Breakfast On Pluto.
Because, despite the entertaining presence of no less an ensemble than Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Natasha Richardson and Timothy Spall, Brendan still stole the show in the recent Harry Potter – The Goblet of Fire.
And finally, because his next film is called Black Irish.
As Dean in The Commitments would say “I’m black and I’m proud”. Roll on Black Irish...