Brendan Gleeson is a beloved actor, but you might have heard of some of his sons, too. Brendan — who was nominated for best actor at the 2023 Oscars for his performance in “The Banshees of Inisherin,” though he lost to Brendan Fraser — is dad to Domhnall, Brian, Rory, and Fergus. And all of them are in the entertainment industry!
His eldest, Domhnall, has an impressive acting résumé of his own. Up next, he’ll star in HBO’s “White House Plumbers” as an attorney for President Richard Nixon alongside Woody Harrelson, Justin Theroux, and Lena Headey. In 2022, he starred on “The Patient” as food-obsessed serial killer Sam Fortner alongside Steve Carrell. The 39-year-old has been making waves in Hollywood for a while, playing Ron Weasley’s older brother Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter movies alongside his father, who portrayed Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody. Domhnall went on to appear in “About Time” alongside Rachel McAdams, as well as the sci-fi drama “Ex Machina.” He also played Jim Farrell in “Brooklyn” and Captain Andrew Henry in “The Revenant” and starred in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and HBO’s “Run.”
Meanwhile, 35-year-old Brian is an actor, too, appearing in “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Assassin’s Creed” and starring as Jimmy McCavern in “Peaky Blinders.” Brian has worked with Domhnall on several projects over the years, costarring in Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” in 2017 with Jennifer Lawrence. They also tried their hand at comedy together in “Frank of Ireland” in 2021, with Brian playing a failed musician and Domhnall appearing as his chaotic best friend, Doofus.
Brian, Domhnall, and dad Brendan, 68, have also worked together before as a trio. They costarred in a play called “The Walworth Farce” in 2015, a comedy that follows a man and his two sons trapped together in a flat, reliving their past.
Brendan’s second-oldest son, Fergus, 38, is also in the arts. A musician and songwriter, he sometimes performs alongside his father, and in 2020, they appeared on “The Late Late Show” with a duet of “Queen’s Hornpipe.” Meanwhile, Rory, 33, is a novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, and his debut novel, “Rockadoon Shore,” was published in 2017. His debut short film, “Psychic,” premiered in 2018, with Brendan directing, Domhnall and Brian costarring, and Fergus composing the score. “I like working with them,” Brendan said of collaborating with his kids in an October interview with The Irish Sun. “[I]t kind of keeps me on my toes a bit.”
All of his sons’ creative success means that Brendan isn’t as much of a big shot at home as he used to be, though. “There was a time when I could lord it around the place knowing more than any of them and that’s not the case any more because they’ve moved into their own spaces . . . ” he said in the interview. “It’s fascinating. So far, touch wood, we’re still talking.” However, he credited his wife, Mary, with keeping their family on speaking terms, saying she often forbids the family from talking about work. “The Psychic,” for example, was “banned at Christmas” one year. “I was hoping she’d be involved in the short, organizing stuff, but she said, ‘I’m out of here’,” Brendan said. Still, that didn’t prevent him from giving her a shout-out. “I actually gave her a title in the credits,” he added, The Irish Sun reported. “‘Arbiter’ I called her, and I put ‘Mary Weldon in absentia.'”
Ahead, check out photos of Brendan with his talented family.