Whether it is the rural diet, the terrific scenery or just the pure luck of the Irish, something about the place seems to be fertile ground for some of the world’s greatest acting talent. From comedy masters who can use that atypical dry wit and dial it from sardonically the way to wacky, to dramatic performers who kick start franchises all on their own. Ireland has a slew of incredible on screen stars and it’s talent isn’t exactly diminishing, in the years to come you can expect it’s up and comers to be ever present on the silver screen, but for now here are some of the top Irish names in film and TV.
Funnyman Brendan Gleeson has been around for a while, starting with smaller but widespread roles, many people may recognise him from his work with Martin McDonough like The Guard or In Bruges. His acting skills are both comedic and incredibly dramatic which works perfectly for the dark comedy that fills the films of the aforementioned director. As if his own performances aren’t enough to mark the history of film alone his sons Domhnhall and Brian are both rising stars themselves, meaning the legacy of acting will continue for many years to come.
No doubt one of the most famous Irish faces in film for the last couple of decades. Farrell has put his hand to an extremely diverse set of roles and seems to be able to succeed in each and every one. Not shying away from any genre he is of course known for comedy (The Lobster, Horrible Bosses), romance (Winter’s Tale) but also big budget thrillers like his leading role in Phone Booth or antagonising Ben Affleck in the Superhero action flick Daredevil.
From his breakout role in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later Murphy has been easy to spot in his many roles ever since. With a peculiar look that is both handsome yet devious, he is often placed in roles that play off this, often being placed as an antagonist in film roles, Murphy has the ability to switch personality instantly which has resulted in perfect alignment in several films. With roles big and small since the 2000’s he most recently became a household name when he starred as Thomas Shelby in the BBC TV Series Peaky Blinders.
Though he has been in the acting game since the 80’s Neeson saw a rise in popularity in the 90’s as he secured huge roles working for some of Hollywood’s greatest directors. The Irishman took the lead in Speilberg’s heart wrenching drama Shindlers List, and a few years later appearing in George Lucas’ first Star Wars Prequel A Phantom Menace as the wise Qui-Gon Jinn. With his career far from dwindling he starred in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins in 2005 and in 2008 took on one of his most memorable roles in Taken. His performance here was so well received that it sparked a series and indeed a taste for similar revenge thrillers that continues to today.