Season five of 'Peaky Blinders' is set to see a plethora of Irish actors join the cast as Glaswegian, and the Gleeson family's rising star, Brian Gleeson, is one of them. However, let us stop you right there before you commit the mistake of pronouncing Brian in the usual British way. No, this Brian is different and it goes like the Irish pronoun Breen, and with that, the red-headed, blue-eyed actor is set to enter the dingy Small Heath where Thomas (aka Tommy) Shelby (Cillian Murphy) will establish a new rulership with his newfound identity as a Member of the Parliament.
Brian might be a rare name, yet to be discovered by the big bosses in the industry, but his family is one of the most renowned acting dynasties of Ireland.
Born to actor Brendan Gleeson (yup, our very dear Mad-Eye Moody from the 'Harry Potter' series) and his wife Mary Weldon, it was already a task to carry on his father's legacy in the industry. However, it is an even greater onus to bear with the shadows of brothers, actor Domhnall Gleeson and writer Rory Gleeson, who are already famous for their works. However, that does not mean Brian is stepping back, in fact, the actor has already made his mark through his role as the adorable yet strict wingman in the 2018 Hulu series, 'The Bisexual'.
In an interview with Independent UK, Brian confessed that the stardom of his family does not bother him. On his brother Domhnall who most recently starred in the movie, 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens', he had said, "He was close to a lot of stuff in the past and then it just happened for him. He's carving out a very interesting path. He's keeping it fresh and that's why he's staying on top. Long may it continue." As for Brian himself, he likes to maintain his low-profile and does not mind the hard work which certainly both his father and his brothers have put into their work. He stated, "I was always goofing around. I suppose having a father who was an actor made you think that it was a real possibility as a career."
Yet it seems that he himself was always interested in acting, since growing up in Malahide, Dublin, he appeared in school plays, before joining the Gaiety's Youth Theatre Company. In 2010, he received his big break when he was cast as Hughie in the first season of 'Love/Hate', and earned a nomination for an Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Television) for the role. Ever since, his career took small but several significant steps which include the 2012 Academy Award nominated film 'Snow White and the Huntsman', 'Tiger Raid', based on the Iraq War, in Jordan, but his most well-known performance continues to be his character as Jimmy in the 2016 Irish drama series, 'Rebellion'.
Regarding Jimmy, Brian had claimed, "He's a socialist revolutionary, who works with Connolly in Liberty Hall. He's from the tenements and he really believes that without economic change the revolution will mean nothing. You see the friction between the Citizen Army [which was established during the Strike and Lockout of 1913] of which he is a part of and the rest of the volunteers." However, the fact that Brian is an extremely open-minded actor was reflected when he considered Danny Boyle's fact that cinema makes people feel what historians want them to know. He prefers to prepare himself before his performance, but once he is on set, "throw it out the window because you need to be collaborative. You shouldn’t have too many ideas about where it goes before you get into the room with the director and other actors."
Brian is now preparing himself to enter the world of the Shelby dynasty. The 30-year-old is one of four recent Irish additions to the show, with 'Raw's Charlene McKenna, 'Fair City's Daryl McCormack, and 'Hollyoaks' Emmett J Scanlan. He explained, "I'll be Glaswegian. It's a funny set-up because there are a lot of Irish actors walking around on set with different accents. It's great to have so many familiar faces around and I've always wanted to work with Cillian Murphy so I'm looking forward to that." Brian continues to be proud of his Irish heritage as well since he believes, "Irish actors are generally instinctive, making them different to other actors. I think the English and Americans really respond to that."
'Peaky Blinders' is set to return on BBC One with Season 5 in Spring this year, and we cannot wait to see the Irish lad sparkle yet again in this already gripping show.