So what do you call Domhnall Gleeson? Do you have an occasion to dress him up?
“Yeah,” he admitted. “And we’re very determined to have fun. We’re also very serious people at work. I think it’s the kind of world we both get stuck in.”
But after that limp holler at reuniting with “best mate” Jimmy Kimmel (we caught up with them on the red carpet for the SCREAM premiere in LA), he was in fit gesticulation before putting a plaster on his own foot. “You had that last night?” he asked Emma Thompson, who he was with during the interview. “Yeah, I had that…”
And you realise, even though their careers have been fairly diversified, most famous-er for comedy and drama, the two Ireland-born actors’ favourite projects are their theatre work.
A few years ago, they co-starred in Macbeth together, and together they’ve headlined two productions of the theater great Edward Albee’s classic drama “two very long mornings.”
“Sometimes it was just two of us, and we’d walk round this long beautiful corridor, down a wide corridor to the green room, and there would be so many ghosts and the lights in the green room would say, ‘There’s someone sitting down on the couch in the green room, and he’s probably f***ing you,’ ” Thompson said.
“And that was extraordinary,” Gleeson added. “Those were both very long morning.”
Gleeson, a British actor, is an avid Irish theatre fan (he recently opened for Glenda Jackson in the Gate Theatre’s revival of “King Lear” in Dublin, and appeared alongside Rory O’Malley in the Merchant-Ivory “The Brothers Pearse”) and Thompson, an American actress, stills recalls days playing a huge game of cricket with him.
As Thompson explained, “I would go outside, we’d have so much craic and it was very stylish,” and Gleeson “would be my very enthusiastic, very lustful landlord.”
“I was maybe 10 or 11 years old, and he said, ‘Who’s playing cricket?’ And I didn’t really know what he was talking about, so I said, ‘What cricket do you play?’ And he said, ‘Well, we’re playing cricket, but we have to keep it from him.’”
“And it was so funny,” Thompson said. “He then got up from the cricket set, and said, ‘Give me the ball, he’s put it in the cupboard.’ And it was absurd.”
“Well, I didn’t know it was going to be an 18-year friendship at the end of the game,” Gleeson joked.
On another side of the table, they were reminded by some colleagues that there were issues with recent campaigns designed to encourage Irish people to find their love of theatre in the UK. As a result, they formed something of a vanguard; competing in yet another theatre festival.
“We did quite a lot of great theatre together, actually,” Thompson said.
“We did some things together that were quite innovative and had some really really good moments. But I think we probably need to grow up a bit, actually, because in life we need to be a bit more like us than what’s happened with our campaigns…
“And we need to sometimes admit to ourselves that we are going to have to go off on our own,” Gleeson added.