Domhnall Gleeson has become a really great actor. Little Bill Weasley from the Harry Potter series has grown into himself and is honestly one of the finest actors of our generation. From Anna Karenina, Ex Machina, and The Revenant, to his turn a couple years back as General Hux in The Force Awakens. We were grateful to sit down and chat with him during the Global Press Event for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. So let’s get straight to the interview:
Q: So you didn’t watch the film yet?
Domhnall Gleeson: “No, they had a screening for the cast, and I think it was the right idea. I decided I would rather see it with like two thousand people who don’t know what’s going to happen.
Just the feeling in the room of like, cause at the Force Awakens, that premier was insane. I was there with my dad and my friend Lawrence. Like what the hell is going on. Like, whoops and cheering and big gasps and everything. I didn’t want to miss out on that being my first experience with the film, so I’m waiting until whatever day it is next week. Yeah.”
Q: If you had a lightsaber in real life, what color would it be?
Domhnall Gleeson: “I do have a lightsaber in real life but it’s not, it’s just one of the plastic ones, (Laughing), and it’s red. So, yeah, when I went to one of the premier things last time around, Harrison Ford was there, and they were giving out these plastic ones to the fans, and I picked a green one ‘cause I’m Irish. And then, we were at the thing and just Harrison Ford’s like the coolest man in the world. So I was, like, talking to my agent and I was kind of waving the thing around, and I saw Harrison Ford was looking over at me, and I was like, oh, (laughing).
So, yeah, I got my photo with him. That was super cool, and- but yeah, so I’ve got a red one and a green one. So, you know what I mean; mix and match, depending on my mood.”
Q: So, being Irish, what do you feel about Star Wars going to Ireland and filming there?
Domhnall Gleeson: “I love it. And I love that the people who went there had an amazing time. I love that they got good weather. I love that they were all the way up and down the west coast, and Ireland is my home, I think it’s the best place in the world, and I’m just happy for people to see it. It’s an intensely beautiful place, and they got to see it in beautiful weather, which is ridiculous. That never happens, (laughing).
So when they came back, and they were all talking about what a good time they had in Ireland, even though I had nothing to do with that, I have to say I was pretty, pretty proud, yeah.”
Q: You said you watched all the films. Did you take anything from past villains and bring it into General Hux?
Domhnall Gleeson: “You can’t steal, right, but like obviously his place in things at the beginning of the film is like Peter Cushing’s kind of role. That’s kind of, like, in terms of just the scheme of the way the villains are set up. He would be kind of fulfilling that role a little bit, so the wat the Peter Cushing, just that very clipped English accent I liked for that. But then you have to go to the real world to find you influences. ‘Cause you can’t take your character notes from other characters. I think you want to base it on something that’s real.
You know, that you can kind of look into, so I understood where he stood in things, but no, the influences would have come from elsewhere. And also just about how he’s got to fit into the story. That was a real process with JJ of understanding the most interesting version of Hux, which is not there from the very beginning. That is the one that’s very dysfunctional with Kylo Ren and battling for their place in things. And for favor from Snoke. That ended up, finding that along the journey, as opposed to it being there from the very beginning.”
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your character arc in the first film versus the character arc in this film?
Domhnall Gleeson: “No. (laughing) The character arc in the first film, he goes from a very good place to a very bad place concerning his standing in things. I think it’s pretty obvious. He wants his place on the throne. He wants to be in charge of Kylo Ren as an opposed to whenever Snoke goes, that’s what Hux wants. And so that’s what he would like. But he’s in a really much worse place at the end of the first movie than he was at the beginning in terms of achieving that goal.
And that’s where we start the second movie, so, just regarding an arc, you’re just starting the character in a much worse place. A much more desperate place, much more uncomfortable place. I think that’s a good place to put somebody like Hux. Taking a step back from him and thinking objectively, you want Hux to suffer. That is what you wish for somebody like that, who behaves like that, and who carries himself like that. And I liked creating somebody that that would end up being the feeling you would have for him. So we start with a place where we’re ready to see him suffer.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
“In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.” The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman. J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin are the executive producers. Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in U.S. theaters on December 15, 2017.