Domhnall Gleeson on Acting: “I think the key is not to be comfortable”

Actor Domnhall Gleeson

“As an actor, you should feel like you’re wrestling the material, like it’s using up your energy and your resources.” – Domnhall Gleeson

The Winnie-the-Pooh stories have entertained children for nearly a century, but what many people don’t know is that author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher — the namesake for Pooh’s friend Christopher Robin — had a difficult relationship, and the success of the Winnie-the-Pooh books only developed a bigger rift between father and son. In Goodbye Christopher Robin, Domhnall Gleeson plays A.A. Milne. In an interview with Time, Gleeson talks about how he got into character — and why for him acting is a totally encompassing process.

Gleeson explains that he feels that acting should be a draining process. He says, “As an actor, you should feel like you’re wrestling the material, like it’s using up your energy and your resources. You should be drained by the process. I think the key is not to be comfortable.”

As an Irish actor, Gleeson had to work on his natural accent to ensure it didn’t creep into his portrayal of the character. His main technique was to use poetry to practice Milne’s voice. He explains, “I would recite poems with my dialogue coach to help practice my voice.” Gleeson used Milne’s accent from waking up to going to bed, believing this would help him portray Milne’s PTSD. He explains, “Portraying PTSD onscreen terrified me. I didn’t want it to come across as a melodramatic thing. I wanted it to feel contained and real.”

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.