Domhnall Gleeson on Working with Rian Johnson on ‘The Last Jedi’ & J.J. Abrams’ Return for ‘Episode IX’
While there’s plenty to be excited about with regards to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, one of the biggest draws is that it’s a brand new Rian Johnson film. The director behind Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper, as well as the best episode of Breaking Bad ever (“Ozymandias”, has built up a devoted fan base over the years with his diverse yet assured filmography, always showcasing his talent in new and interesting ways. So in some ways, the fact that we’re getting a new film written and directed by Rian Johnson is as exciting (if not moreso) as the fact that we’re getting a new Star Wars movie.
Johnson was certainly a big draw for the cast, including Domhnall Gleeson, who spoke to Collider’s own Steve Weintraub about The Last Jedi and his experience with Johnson during the press day for American Made. Gleeson recalled his first time reading the script, and how it led to an exciting discussion with Johnson:
“When I read it I needed to talk to him, and I think that’s always a good sign. I was like, ‘Wow there’s some stuff there which is kind of—not scary but different to what I expected,’ and that’s a really, really nice thing. I think that’s a really positive thing, I think that’s important for those films that we don’t repeat ourselves. So I just wanted to talk to him, and when I talked to him he was so clear and so confident, not in a brash way but he knew the film he wanted to make, and it was a really lovely thing. Just [to] sit down with a filmmaker you really enjoy… but to see him, just the confidence of it and his excitement about what it could be and everything, it was really pleasing to see. Very calming. And I got really excited about being in it, and it was a really very, very cool experience working with him. I would love to work with him again, I really enjoyed it.”
Gleeson says you never really know how a film is going to turn out until you see the finished product, and he’s just as excited as the fans are to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi:
“I’m just really interested to see the film now, as well. You never know what something’s gonna be like. Even when you read the script, you don’t know what the tone of something is gonna be. You can guess at it, but I can’t wait to see it. I just wanna sit in a room full of people and watch that movie and see what it does to us.”
As for the news that J.J. Abrams is returning to direct Star Wars: Episode IX, Gleeson was quick to point out it hasn’t been confirmed who’s back and who’s not for the next sequel, but he’s onboard with Abrams as the choice to bring this new trilogy home:
“[I found out] like two seconds before, but nothing’s revealed about which, if any of us, are in Episode IX or not. I think it’s really cool that he’s doing it, and I’m interested to see how he approaches it because he’s a superb filmmaker. And it’s closing out—they’re doing it in trilogies aren’t they?… See that’s really cool, J.J. will do a fantastic job.”
Before you go jumping to conclusions that Gleeson “confirms” Episode IX closes out a trilogy, know that actors in these movies—especially supporting roles like Gleeson’s—are not told the entirety of the franchise plans by Lucasfilm, so he’s about as knowledgeable as us when it comes to the future of the series. So here he’s reiterating the common refrain from Lucasfilm that Episode IX will be a concluding chapter of sorts for the story that began in Force Awakens, but it is by no means the end of new Star Wars movies.
Look for Steve’s full interview with Gleeson on Collider soon.