Born in Dublin, Domhnall Gleeson grew up watching his father, Brendan, leave behind a successful teaching career to pursue his love of acting. His initial protests of following in his footsteps died away when a particularly nervy speech, delivered while accepting an award on behalf of his father, landed him an agent. After studying media arts at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Gleeson made his acting debut in 2001's "Rebel Heart," a BBC miniseries about Ireland's struggle for independence. He balanced the occasional film and TV appearance with long stretches on stage in both London's West End and New York's Broadway, and in 2006 earned a Tony nomination for his lead role as Davey in the violently political "The Lieutenant of Inishmore." But every high has a low and Gleeson was determined to create his own opportunities when none were being offered. In 2009 he wrote and directed the short film "What Will Survive of Us," before joining "Your Bad Self" in 2010 as a writer and lead actor. His hard work paid off that year when he appeared in a trio of high-profile films: first as the eldest Weasley brother in the opening half of the Harry Potter franchise's final installment; then as a restless clone in the adaptation of "Never Let Me Go;" and finally as an unlucky gunslinger in the Coen Brothers' critically acclaimed western, "True Grit." After reprising his role in the 2011 finale to the Harry Potter series, Gleeson re-united with two of his "Never Let Me Go" co-stars in 2012: Andrea Riseborough and Keira Knightley. In "Shadow Dancer" he portrayed an IRA member who's suspicious his that sister (Riseborough) has been flipped; and in the Russian epic "Anna Karenina," starring Knightley as the title aristocrat, he played the anxious landowner, Konstantin Levin. He next starred opposite Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy in the Richard Curtis time-travel romantic comedy-drama "About Time" (2013). This mainstream film was followed by a quirkier role opposite Michael Fassbender (wearing a giant papier-mache cartoon head) in "Frank" (2014), a Sundance favorite inspired by the life of Chris Sievey, a British post-punk musician who created a cartoon alter ego named Frank Sidebottom.After working with his father in the Irish drama "Calvary" (2014), Gleeson co-starred in Angelina Jolie's World War II biopic "Unbroken" (2014) before taking the male lead opposite Alicia Vikander in Alex Garland's speculative science-fiction thriller "Ex Machina" (2015). Another supporting role in historical romance "Brooklyn" (2015) was followed by Gleeson's debut in the Star Wars universe as General Hux in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (2015), a role he reprised in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (2017). Gleeson next took on a key supporting role in 19th-century survival thriller "The Revenant" (2015), followed by roles in Darren Aronofsky's divisive parable "mother!" (2017) and Doug Liman's politically-themed crime caper "American Made" (2017). After starring opposte Christina Applegate in love-triangle comedy "Crash Pad" (2017), Gleeson starred as British children's author A.A. Milne in the biopic "Goodbye Christopher Robin" (2017).
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