Brendan Gleeson is currently receiving raves and accolades, including a British Independent Film Award nomination, for John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard, in which he stars opposite Don Cheadle. He also received Golden Globe, BAFTA and British Independent Film Award nominations for his performance in Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges, in which he starred opposite Colin Farrell. Gleeson won an Emmy and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the 2009 HBO movie Into the Storm.
Gleeson’s upcoming projects include Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep, with Shia LaBeouf and Julie Christie; The Raven, a fictionalized account of the final days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life; and Aardman Animations’ The Pirates! Band of Misfits. He can currently be seen in the period drama Albert Nobbs, starring Glenn Close.
Gleeson is perhaps most recognized now as the brilliant and eccentric Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody, the role he first played in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and reprised in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and in the penultimate movie of the blockbuster series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
Gleeson made his feature film debut in Jim Sheridan’s The Field, followed by small roles in such films as Mike Newell’s Into the West and Ron Howard’s Far and Away.
He first gained attention for his performance in Mel Gibson’s Oscar®-winning film Braveheart, and he went on to appear in Neil Jordan’s Michael Collins and The Butcher Boy and starred in the independent film Angela Mooney, executive produced by John Boorman.
In 1998, Boorman directed Gleeson in the role of real-life Irish folk hero Martin Cahill in the biopic The General. For his performance, Gleeson won several acting honors, including the London Film Critics’ Circle Award for British Actor of the Year. He has since collaborated with John Boorman on the films The Tailor of Panama, In My Country and The Tiger’s Tail.
Gleeson’s additional film credits include John Woo’s Mission: Impossible II; Harrison’s Flowers; Wild About Harry; Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence; Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later…; Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York; Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain; Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy; M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village; Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven; Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto; Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf; Paul Greengrass’ Green Zone; and Perrier ’s Bounty.
Born in Ireland, Gleeson started out as a teacher but left the profession to pursue an acting career, and joined the Irish theater company Passion Machine. His stage credits include productions of King of the Castle, The Plough and the Stars, Prayers of Sherkin, The Cherry Orchard, Juno and the Paycock and On Such As We.
Biography courtesy of Universal Studios in conjunction with the film, Safe House.