Domhnall Gleeson

Domhnall Gleeson

Born (1983-05-12) 12 May 1983
Dublin, Ireland
Occupation Actor, writer
Years active 2004–present
Parent(s) Brendan Gleeson
Mary Weldon
Relatives Brian Gleeson (brother)

Domhnall Gleeson (/ˈdnəl ˈɡlsən/;[1] born 12 May 1983) is an Irish actor and writer. He is best known for his portrayal of General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter film franchise, Caleb in Ex Machina, Captain Andrew Henry in The Revenant (2015 film) and Tim Lake in About Time. He has acted on both stage and screen, earning a Tony Award nomination in 2006 for his role in the Broadway production The Lieutenant of Inishmore. He has performed in several shows at Dublin's Gate Theatre, including adaptations of American Buffalo and Great Expectations.

Gleeson's television roles includes appearances in the television series The Last Furlong (2006) and the comedy sketch show Your Bad Self (2010), as well as the films Six Shooter (2004), Boy Eats Girl (2005), Never Let Me Go (2010), True Grit (2010), Anna Karenina (2012), Dredd (2012), Frank (2014), Calvary (2014), and Unbroken (2014). In 2015, he starred in four films, all of which received multiple Academy Award nominations: Ex Machina, Brooklyn, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and The Revenant.

Early life

Gleeson was born in Dublin, Ireland, the oldest son of Mary (née Weldon) and actor Brendan Gleeson.[2] He has three brothers: Fergus, Brian (also an actor), and Rúairí. He attended Malahide Community School, and later graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts from the Dublin Institute of Technology.[3]


Domhnall Gleeson at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival

After graduating, Gleeson began directing and writing for both film and stage. He appeared in the British television miniseries Rebel Heart in 2001 with James D'Arcy and Paloma Baeza.[3] In 2006, Gleeson starred in the feature film Studs, with his father appearing alongside him.[3]

Gleeson also starred in the Academy Award-winning movie short Six Shooter[4] and Boy Eats Girl, as well as the RTÉ television series The Last Furlong.[3] He also appeared on the Broadway theatre show The Lieutenant of Inishmore at age twenty-three, receiving a Tony Award nomination for the role.[3][4]

In late 2007, Gleeson played Herbert Pocket in the Hugh Leonard adaptation of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations at the Gate Theatre in Dublin.[5] The role was described as "wittily played" by Irish Independent critic Bruce Arnold.[6] Earlier that year he had a role as Bobby in the David Mamet play American Buffalo, also at the Gate Theatre.[7]

In 2008, Gleeson starred in the one-off RTÉ comedy sketch show Your Bad Self, which was broadcast on 26 December that year.[3][4] Other roles in 2008 included A Dog Year and Paddyville.[3]

In March 2009, it was confirmed that he had been cast as Bill Weasley in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.[8][9] His father, Brendan, plays Alastor Moody in the series.[8][9] Gleeson had initially been reluctant to act alongside his father in the same film but later changed his mind.[10] In 2006, he said of his acting: "I'd been very certain about not wanting to do the acting thing because of my father. I thought I'd always have the father-son thing of 'He got you the role'."[9]

In the 2009 film Sensation, Gleeson plays the role of a young farmer whose "soulless encounter" with a call-girl "develops into a bittersweet love story".[11][12]

He had his break-out year in 2010 with his role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Also in 2010, he starred alongside Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan in Never Let Me Go, and with Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon in the Academy Award–nominated Coen Brothers' film True Grit.

Gleeson won the 2011 Ifta Award for Best Actor for his performance as Bob Geldof in the biopic When Harvey Met Bob.

He appeared in "Be Right Back", an episode of the science-fiction horror series Black Mirror alongside Hayley Atwell as a man who is killed in a car crash, but returns to his lover as an android. Gleeson played Konstantin Levin in the film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel Anna Karenina,[13] directed by Joe Wright. It was released in late 2012. In 2013 Gleeson starred in About Time, a romantic comedy written and directed by Richard Curtis.[14] The story follows a young man, played by Gleeson, who uses time travel to win over "the girl of his dreams", played by Rachel McAdams. Filming took place in London, England, in June 2012.[15] In 2014, he portrayed Jon in the Lenny Abrahamson film Frank, starring alongside Michael Fassbender, and in 2015, played Caleb in Alex Garland's directorial debut Ex Machina and Jim Farrell in Brooklyn.[16]

Personal life

Gleeson shares a love of the English Championship team Aston Villa with his father Brendan. He described the team's FA Cup semifinal win over Liverpool at Wembley Stadium in 2015, as one of the "great days of my life".[17]

Along with his father and brother Brian, Gleeson created and stars in the Immatürity For Charity sketches, which raises money for the St. Francis Hospice in Raheny, Dublin. It also stars Laurence Kinlan, Tadhg Murphy and Amy Huberman.[18]



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Six Shooter Cashier Short film
2005 Stars Brian (voice) Short film
2005 Boy Eats Girl Bernard
2006 Studs Trampis
2009 Dog Year, AA Dog Year Anthony Armstrong
2009 What Will Survive of Us Short film; Writer and director
2009 Perrier's Bounty Clifford
2009 Corduroy Mahon Short film
2010 Sensation Donal Duggan
2010 Noreen Short film; Writer and director
2010 Never Let Me Go Rodney
2010 True Grit Moon (The Kid)
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Bill Weasley
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Bill Weasley
2012 Dredd Clan Techie
2012 Anna Karenina Konstantin Levin
2012 Shadow Dancer Connor McVeigh
2013 About Time Tim Lake
2014 Frank Jon Burroughs
2014 Calvary Freddie Joyce
2014 Unbroken Russell Allen Phillips
2015 Ex Machina Caleb Smith
2015 Brooklyn Jim Farrell
2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens General Hux
2015 The Revenant Andrew Henry
2017 American Made Monty Schafer Post-production
2017 A Futile and Stupid Gesture Henry Beard Post-production
2017 Crash Pad Stensland Post-production
2017 Mother Post-production
2017 Star Wars: Episode VIII General Hux Post-production
2017 Untitled A.A. Milne Project A. A. Milne Filming
2018 Peter Rabbit Mr. McGregor Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Rebel Heart Byrne 1 episode
2005 Last Furlong, TheThe Last Furlong Sean Flanagan 3 episodes
2010 Your Bad Self Various 6 episodes; Also writer
2010 When Harvey Met Bob Bob Geldof Television film
2013 Black Mirror Ash Episode: "Be Right Back"
2016 Earth's Greatest Spectacles Narrator Documentary series, 3 episodes

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2016 Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens General Hux

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result Work
2006 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Play Nominated The Lieutenant of Inishmore
2007 Irish Film and Television Awards Breakthrough Talent Nominated Studs
2011 Berlin International Film Festival Shooting Stars Award Won N/A
Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actor in a Lead Role in TelevisionWon When Harvey Met Bob
2012 British Independent Film Awards Best Supporting ActorNominated Shadow Dancer
Hamptons International Film Festival Breakthrough Performer Won Anna Karenina
2013 Empire Awards Best Male NewcomerNominated
Irish Film and Television Awards Best Supporting Actor FilmWon
2014 Best Lead Actor - FilmNominated About Time
2015 Best Actor in a Supporting Role - FilmWon Frank
British Independent Film Awards Best Supporting ActorNominated Brooklyn
2016 Saturn Award Best Actor Nominated Ex Machina


  1. Entertainment Weekly (2015-05-01), The definitive pronunciation of 'Domhnall Gleeson' by Domhnall Gleeson, retrieved 2016-08-31
  2. Gleeson, B. (1989). Breaking Up. Passion Machine. ISBN 9781872313009. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Domhnall Gleeson to star in RTÉ Christmas Special". Evening Herald. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  4. 1 2 3 "The last laugh". The Irish Times. 20 December 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2009. Domhnall Gleeson Nominated for a Tony at the age of 23 for his role in the 2006 Broadway production of Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore. May have felt like déjà-vu for Gleeson who also appeared in McDonagh's Oscar-winning short, Six Shooter. Domhnall's father, Brendan Gleeson, co-starred with Peter McDonald in 1997's I Went Down.
  5. "Domhnall Gleeson–Actor". Irish Independent. 24 November 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  6. Arnold, Bruce (29 November 2007). "Festive fare for all the family lives up to the greatest of expectations". Irish Independent. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  7. "American Buffalo". RTÉ. 16 February 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  8. 1 2 "Bill Nighy in "Die Heiligtümer des Todes"". (German). 1 July 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  9. 1 2 3 "Headlines: Tony Nominee Domhnall Gleeson to Appear in Final Harry Potter Films". 9 March 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  10. "Domhnall Gleeson confirmed as Bill Weasley for 'Deathly Hallows'". HPANA. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  11. "Follow-Up May Keep Hall From Edinburgh". California Chronicle. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  12. "Follow-Up May Keep Hall From Edinburgh (original)". The Irish Times. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009. Tony-award nominee Domhnall Gleeson plays a randy young farmer with New Zealand actress Luanne Gordon as an aging Antipodean escort. "They begin as client and call-girl, evolve into lovers and finally business partners,” according to the synopsis. "What starts as a soulless contract develops into a bittersweet love story."
  13. "Domhnall Gleeson Lands Role in Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina'". IFTN. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  14. Kit, Borys (10 May 2012). "Rachel McAdams to Star in Working Title's 'About Time' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  15. Kit, Borys (10 May 2012). "Rachel McAdams to Star in Working Title's 'About Time' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  16. Barton, Steve (2 March 2015). "Ex Machina – New Poster Shows Off Assets". Dread Central.
  17. "Star Wars actor Gleeson: Villa Wembley win was special day". Aston Villa F.C. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  18. "Domhnall Gleeson: Immaturity for Charity". 25 September 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
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