*Disney provided me an all expense paid trip to LA for the Star Wars Event. All opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources. Photo Credit: Louise from MomStart.com.*
Domhnall Gleeson appeared in 4 major motion pictures in 2015 and all 4 went on to get Oscar nominations. Those movies are The Revenant, Ex Machina, Star Wars:The Force Awakens, and Brooklyn. Now reprising his role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we had the honor to sit down this incredibly talented actor, Domhnall Gleeson! In this movie he reprises his role of General Hux in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
MY INTERVIEW WITH DOMHNALL GLEESON:
Question 1: What was our first impression of the film?
“That little birdy was a flippin’ liar. 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.
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 till whatever day it is next week.”
Question 2: So, we rode Star Tours last night; all of us. And we got to see you in that, and I realized, that’s not your first rodeo. Being on a theme park ride, what is that like being in multiple theme park rides?
He asked where Star Tours was and we told him it was at Disneyland. He then said he is going to try to go there and visit Star Tours while he is in town. He said it was pretty amazing.
Question 3: So, if you had a lightsaber in real life, what color would it be?
He said he has a lightsaber in real life and it is red.
“ So, yeah, when I went to one of the premier things last time round, 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. So I was 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. I got my photo with him. That was super cool.”
Question 4: Can we say that Han Solo is your ultimate, favorite character in Star Wars?
He told us he does not know if he is allowed to say that (lol) but he was a huge Indiana Jones fan his whole life. Harrison Ford was his childhood.
Question 5: So, being Irish, what do you feel about Star Wars going to Ireland and filming there?
He says he loved it so much. He also loved that they all had an amazing time down there when filming. He said it is a beautiful place and glad people got to experience it there, with great weather too!
Question 6: You said you watched all the films. Did you take anything from past villains and bring it into General Hux?
“You can’t steal, but obviously his place in things at the beginning of the film is like Peter Cushing’s kind of role. That’s kind of, 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, but then you have to go to the real world to find you influences. You can’t take you character notes from other characters. I think you want to base it on something that’s real.
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, like that was a real process with JJ of understanding the most interesting version of Hux, and the most interesting version of Hux, it turns out, which is not there from the very beginning, was the one that’s actually very dysfunctional with Kylo Ren and kind of battling for their place in things. They ended up, finding that along the journey, as opposed to it being there from the very beginning.”
Question 7: Can you tell us a little bit about your character arc in the first film in the first film verses the character arc in this film?
“The character in the first film, he goes from a very good place to a very bad place in terms of 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 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 basically start the second movie, so, just in terms of an arc, you’re just starting the character in a much worse place. A much more desperate place, much more uncomfortable place, and 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 want 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.”
Question 8: In the first film, we saw that you channeled a lot of inner rage, and how did you channel this for yourself and for your character and ultimately find the character that you wanted to portray?
He said he thinks there is a desperation about him, which is very unbecoming.
“There’s a need at all times to make sure that everybody knows that he’s important; that they should do what he says, that he deserves his position in things. But he knows that he’s now as powerful as Ren, really when it comes to it. If it came to a first fight, he’s dead within ten seconds. And Ren wouldn’t have to use his fist, he’d just like force choke him or whatever.
So that like, that’s where he is at all times, so you just try ,just put yourself in a desperate place, and then say, right I’m getting rid of that, and now I’m pretending that I’m powerful, even though something in there is worried that you’re not. I think insecurity is where he, those are not solid foundations? And that’s where we tried to start him from.”
Question 9: Is there ever a moment on set where you had a geek out moment, like, oh my gosh, I’m in this.
He joked with us he would use different words but yes there were a lot of moments like that on set. With it being Star Wars and the history of it, there were many things.
“There are so many things which are part of growing up, which are part of people’s childhoods. Star Wars would have been the first movie that a lot of people saw first. There’s just something that’s a position of privilege, so loads of moments like that. Any time, without giving anything away, of who I worked with on this or didn’t work with, but when you’re on set, other people have to come on set to show Rian a costume in person, or, you know, to talk to him about something.
So the days when you don’t know somebody’s gonna be in, and you’re kinda talking to Rian about something and then Mark Hamill just stoles up in his Luke Skywalker gear, you’re like what the!! You’re like, oh my gosh!”
Question 10: What is it like to be sitting in a room full of people who have not seen the film, you have to be careful what you say. I can’t even imagine how difficult that must be.
He said it is very weird and a good reason for him not to watch the movie. He would have spoiled it if he did.
Question 11: So, when you were describing Hux, it does sound very similar to the current climate that we’re in. So how much does Star Wars, and not even just this movie, but how much does Star Wars really kind of reflect our times that we’re living in?
“Like most pieces of great art reflect something about the times you live in, no matter when you live. And I’ve heard that this film is particularly, you can really, really do whatever you want with it in terms of it being contemporary and relatable to people and all the rest of it. I think that, there’s never a lack of evil in, or not evil. Never a lack of bad intention in the world.
And people only out for their own interest and the interest of the few. That’s been around forever and will always be around. That’s not going to disappear. So I think you can just compare it to any time, but obviously what brilliance of Star Wars is that when you watch it you can be entertained by the dark side, whereas in real life, that isn’t entertaining, that’s terrifying. Different.
Question 12: What is next for you?
He has a movie in Sundance called A Futile Stupid Gesture, which is about the setting up of National Lampoon, which is a very different film to Star Wars. And then there’s Peter Rabbit, which is also a very different film to Star Wars, where he is playing Mr. McGregor.
BE SURE TO WATCH DOMHNALL GLEESON as General Hux! Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens TOMORROW!