Exclusive: Domhnall Gleeson Says What He Can About Star Wars: Episode VII
August 7, 2014
Right now, everyone wants to know whatever they can find out about J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII, currently shooting at London's Pinewood Studios, a project so veiled in secrecy that it makes journalists even more eager to ask the cast about it, fully knowing the results.
While interviewing actor Domnhall Gleeson (About Time) for Jon Ronson and Lenny Abrahamson's semi-autobiographical Frank, their tribute to avant-garde British comedian and musician Frank Sidebottom, ComingSoon.net tried to throw in a few innocent questions about "Star Wars" in hopes Gleeson might crack under the pressure of keeping it all a secret. It didn't really work although the resulting conversation was kind of fun.
ComingSoon.net: You and I are both aware of the secrecy behind a project like "Star Wars: Episode VII."
Domnhall Gleeson: Yeah.
CS: I'm not going to ask you questions that will disrespect the NDA that you signed but will hopefully still give us insight into the film: How is the food on the "Star Wars" set?
Gleeson: Excellent. Excellent food. Really really good. You can go really healthy and it'll still be tasty.
CS: What's an example of a dish?
Gleeson: Something like quinoa with chicken and stuff, but your whole meal will only be 500 calories, but it'll be really tasty and there won't be any crazy sauce or anything like that, but it's just really well seasoned and delicious.
CS: Good craft service?
Gleeson: Is craft service the thing you go to for snacks and stuff? I don't really do snacks, but I've seen people walking around with ice creams.
Gleeson: Maybe, I don't know what that is.
CS: Does everyone on set wear special shin guards now?
Gleeson: Shin guards?
CS: Because of what happened to Harrison?
Gleeson: (laughs) No comment. When you walk from your trailer to the set - you're in Pinewood Studios - you have to put on a big, black cloak thing to cover all of your clothes, like full length, 'cause they're worried about people seeing costumes and stuff. It's crazy.
CS: So far it's worked pretty well.
Gleeson: There's a guy in that window out there with a sniper rifle trained on you and another one that's trained on me right now and they can hear every word we're saying, and if you ask a question that disrespects the NDA there's just going to be a *poof*.
CS: The pink mist.
CS: I talked to your father a few weeks ago for "Calvary," which you're also great in.
Gleeson: Thank you very much. I'm very proud of having a small part in a very fantastic movie.
CS: I asked him if he gave you any advice for the onslaught of fame you're about to go through, and he said you were beyond advice at this point in your life.
Gleeson: I think he's being very nice to me there. I think he's respecting me publicly, but the truth is I ask my father for advice all the time and everybody needs advice, but you'd be foolish not to seek it out from someone like him, who's a very good man and a very good actor. The fame thing we've talked about at various points, but the truth is you never know where it's going to come from. When my dad did "Harry Potter" we thought everything was gonna go nuts for him and it wasn't "Harry Potter" that made everything nuts for him, it was "In Bruges" and then "The Guard" in terms of walking down the street and getting stopped a lot. Those are the movies that did it and they're not the ones you'd expect. So just because I'm doing "Star Wars" doesn't mean that'll be the thing that makes people stop me in the street. Maybe they won't EVER, so it'll be fine.
CS: Yeah, he said you would remember when he transitioned from being a teacher to being a movie star.
Gleeson: Yeah, he gave up teaching, he was doing plays and television. "Braveheart" was a thing, but not everyone would recognize him from "Braveheart," but it was a huge movie. They were all gradual steps and I think it's amazing that my dad's in his late 50s now and it's phenomenal to have a career keep going up and that he's doing the best work he's ever done now. I think that's amazing 'cause I think a lot of people peak. My father is just getting better and better and that speaks so well of the way he approaches the work.
CS: I've met him a couple times, he's a wonderful guy.
Gleeson: Isn't he cool?
CS: He's cool. I met him on the "Smurfs 2" set. He was having a lot of fun.
Gleeson: (laughs) Was he pretending to be a duck?
CS: Yeah, he was not faking it, he really was enjoying himself.
Gleeson: (laughs) No I know, well if you can… Do you know what they call "The Smurfs" in France?
CS: The Schtroumpfs.
Gleeson: Oh, you did know that! Our bass player François was telling me, it sounds like such a violent Germany in the '40s sort of… you know? "Schtroumpf!" It sounds really vicious.
CS: "The Schtroumpfwaffe."
Gleeson: YEAH! (laughs)
CS: That said, what is THE WORST bit of advice someone gave you after you got the role in "Star Wars"?
Gleeson: The worst bit of advice? Oh I'm beyond advice, I thought we were through this. No I don't know. Let me think… (pause) No, no one can give me advice on "Star Wars" because nobody knows what I'm doing in "Star Wars." The only advice I've gotten is from people like J.J., and that's always good advice!
CS: You can take that to the bank.
Gleeson: Yeah, exactly. I don't even have a funny fake one for you there, there's nothing I can think of.
CS: Well I have three words for you: "STAR WARS GROUPIES."
Gleeson: Oh yeah?
CS: They're gonna have action figures of ya, dude.
Look for the rest of our interview with Domnhall Gleeson before Frank opens theatrically in select cities on Friday, August 15.