Domhnall Gleeson Talks About His Hollywood Roles, the Me Too Movement, and His Appreciation for Hospice
Irish-born actor Domhnall Gleeson has been cast in several Hollywood movies in recent years. Throughout the wizarding world, he is recognized as the older brother to Ron Weasley, Bill, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Otherwise, Star Wars fans know him as General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The Rise of Skywalker is the third and final chapter of the most recent Star Wars trilogy, which comes out later this year. In 2013, he was in the Black Mirror episode “Be Right Back.” But despite these and several other roles, Gleeson says he doesn’t feel like he fits into the idea of high society Hollywood.
Living in his hometown of Dublin when he isn’t working, Gleeson doesn’t have any plans to move in with the chaos of Hollywood. He revealed in an interview that he is wary about the roles in movies as big as Harry Potter or Star Wars.
I live here in Dublin, and I just don’t feel like a part of that. When I am working, I feel like I am just doing a job. I’m not part of a bigger thing. I am there to work, and then I go home. That’s it. […] It’s something you never get used to. You get reminded of it constantly. It would be hard to get used to it.
However, that’s not to say he dislikes his portrayals in blockbuster films. He notes those constant reminders can be an amazing thing, albeit reasonably overwhelming. But he considers the final three installments of Star Wars to be enough of the Hollywood culture for him.
It’s not much of a secret or surprise that such a culture is prone to problems. One of the most notable results of these problems in Hollywood has been the Me Too movement. For this reason, it’s easier to understand Gleeson’s desire to separate himself from the overwhelming lifestyle of the Hollywood elite. Gleeson commented on his disappointment with the widespread issue.
I wasn’t surprised because there is male toxicity in every part of today’s society. And add to that an industry that rewards fame and power… It’s that awful mix of being shocking and not surprising at the same time. It’s a difficult [thing] to talk about briefly. That’s the problem. A brief conversation about it becomes a sentence. And a sentence does not, and cannot, sum up the largeness, and the awfulness, and the complexity of what it is.
Despite the significant roles and troubles of Hollywood scandal, he says the proudest moments in his career are acting with his father, Brendan Gleeson (Alastor Moody), and brother, Brian Gleeson. He has worked with his father and brother in the short film Psychic and the play The Walworth Farce. Domhnall says he is looking forward to another project in which the trio can work together again.
I’m definitely very close to my family… [they’re] inspiring.
Gleeson also brought attention to another passion of his, helping raise money for hospice homes. His grandparents lived through their final days at a hospice home, which is how he discovered the demand for funds in end-of-life care homes. Gleeson is helping promote Hospice Together’s Coffee Morning program in September, which is in its 27th year. He spoke about the difference hospice staff can make for patients and families.
What they did here was awe-inspiring. [Patients are] being given dignity, and knowing that they are being cared for and not being talked down to because they’re sick. In a mad way… it makes you realise what matters. I’ll always be grateful for what they did. And will always help them in any way I can.
This year’s Coffee Morning program hopes to bring in €2 million for local hospice facilities in Ireland.
From fighting a rebellion in space to raising money for charity, Domhnall Gleeson has made himself known in the world of Hollywood elite, whether or not he wants the attention. And since he has made it pretty clear he has intentions of staying out of the spotlight for a while, one can only hope that Gleeson will eventually make his way back to the big screen.