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Gleeson worn down by Calvary role

Brendan Gleeson (left) and Aidan Gillen on the set of Calvary: Photo © Gleeson worn down by Calvary role Photo

Brendan Gleeson has admitted he had a tough time switching off from his role as a tormented priest while filming Calvary.

The part sees him as good-natured priest Father James Lavelle who is battling against dark forces closing in around him after he is threatened during a confession.

Troy star Brendan said he hadn't had too many light moments between takes on set: "I found increasingly the more I went into this thing, the more I needed to stay in there."

He explained about one scene: "It was odd, at one stage John (Michael McDonagh, the director) told Aidan Gillen to call me a name when I was coming out of the loo after I find him snorting cocaine and there's no judgment, I just walk straight back out.

"But I heard Aidan say something [insulting] at the end and it was the end of a Friday, the third week, and I was almost going back in through the door to say, 'Say that again.'

"I was so sick of people freeloading and it has to seep into it. I'm not a method actor, but it was kind of relentless and I began to get really fed up of it."

He added: "Lines were blurred a bit, but it was a Friday evening and I think mentally I just switched off a little bit and crossed the worlds."

Brendan said that the role had taken its toll on him and he needed a recovery period after the five weeks of filming to pull himself together again.

He said: "It was a very intense thing and it actually took me a while to get back to myself afterwards because there's no real catharsis in this for this guy.

"There's hope in the film, in the way it ends up, but it was almost that the catharsis is in the showing of the movie rather than happening on set."

Calvary is in cinemas now.

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