Hamish. Liam Tobin. “Mad Eye” Moody. “Ken”. Menelaus. Walter ‘Monk’ McGinn. Martin Cahill. All roles under the repertory of the inestimable character actor Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson, with his sunken eyes and brogue dialect, able to interject even the smallest of roles with undeniable pathos and weight. With his new film The Guard set for limited release tomorrow, Gleeson steps up to the limelight as the titular guard Sgt. Gerry Boyle. Boyle, as protector of the small Irish County Galway, must fend off rampant police corruption, murderous thugs and a secret drug trade. Of course – he would rather just have a good old-fashioned pint instead.
In lesser hands, Sgt. Boyle could easily have become an outlandish caricature of sorts – a buffoon with a gun, not so far removed from Paul Blart. But Gleeson is able to imbue the boorishness of the character with an unexpected undercurrent of loneliness and more surprisingly, hidden competence. Sgt. Boyle mat not be as ill suited to saving the day as appearances would suggest and Gleeson with nary a word, just a look, perfectly conveys the adroitness behind each calculated stumble. In the following interview with Brendan Gleeson, he speaks about his portrayal of Sgt. Boyle, how he balanced the comedy with the drama of the script and what it was like working with both McDonagh brothers (John Michael on The Guard and Martin on In Bruges/Six Shooter). For the full interview, hit the jump.
- Talks about his character and how why he portrayed him a certain way
- Is it difficult to balance the comedy with the sadness
- The fear of outsiders in the community…the many jokes at Dublin’s expense
- Since he’s now worked with both McDonagh brothers, how are they the same and how are they different
- What motivated him to become a film actor after getting started in the theater