Gabriel Byrne’s interview on The Michael Des Barres Show was perhaps not as shocking as advertized, but it certainly was passionate!

Mr. Byrne covered a host of topics, including the Irish contribution to American culture (reminder: next time put up the Irish flag as a stage backdrop!), changes in the film industry, the state of the Roman Catholic Church (reminder: must learn names of recent popes!), the importance of critical thinking, and his new film, Vampire Academy.

Oh, and he gave a “shout-out” to Byrneholics! More on this later.

Here is the video of the interview:

Mr. Byrne said some nice things about Byrneholics and me in this interview (starting at minute 47:20 in the video) and I appreciate that, of course. It is always nice to be recognized and I know Byrneholics everywhere got a kick out of hearing him talk about us as “lovely people.”

I do wish, however, that we had not been–perhaps inadvertently–included with Mr. Byrne’s legion of female fans who are always “slipping you numbers, slipping you underwear, and slipping…”

While we all might want to do those things, I try to keep the discourse at this website on a higher plane. I try to protect Mr. Byrne’s privacy. I try to treat him and his work with respect and consideration. I try not to objectify him or treat him as anything other than what I think he is: a talented, thoughtful, inspiring artist. Oh, occasionally I go off in a fangirl faint, I admit that, but I try to relegate my fainting and “thudding” to the Forum, which is private and an appropriate place for such activities.

So, here is MY shout-out back to Mr. Byrne:

You have fans. We care about you, watch your films and TV series, listen to your interviews, read your work, and occasionally obsess over your well-being. Read the comments on some of my postings here at the website and you will find a group of articulate, intelligent, compassionate PEOPLE. We think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread (I wonder if this phrase has a Gaelic origin?). Whether or not you value any of this is, of course, your prerogative. I hope you can someday learn to be comfortable with us. We don’t bite. Well, we do sometimes, but only in the Forum. wink

All the best to you in your future endeavors, Mr. Byrne.




  1. I’m going piss some people off here, but you need a wake-up call on the problems of celebrity and fan culture.

    You need to ask yourself what you could be doing with that creative energy if you were to apply that critical eye Byrne mentioned in his interview to his work and drop the fan energy once and for all.

    You might find yourself looking at the ways in which that the Desbarres interview draws from some very retro and sexist tropes about female sexuality, female desire, tropes that tend to shame women for being subjects of desire as opposed to being objects of desire. You might find yourself questioning those fantasies that bring you back to this page to stare at his photos, and yes, perhaps rethink the whole notion of feeding the celebrity machine.

    Critical thinkers need to interrogate Byrne on his blind spot when it comes to his personal gender politics–it is not revolutionary to on the one hand claim to want to see women as priests and critique the RCC on their misogyny while relying on misogyny to put women in their place with regard to sexual politics and celebrity. One should ask him: why is it that it’s okay to objectify women and purport to speak for women, while at the same time demonizing women who are subjects of desire?

    Sisters, do this man a favor and stop being his fan. Watch his movies, but stop collecting his stuff. Refuse to consume, and refuse to be put in your place. Be a critical audience, and talk back. Be uppity.

    • Hi Dr. Turpin, but I must say huh? What is the RCC? Nevermind that-though I can see where he was/is coming from. It’s never an okay thing to ask women to twirl around in public just to look at their arse which-for the most part is what they were discussing. I think what the world needs to learn is balance: a balance between allowing women to act “sexual” in whatever way they want and yet to not take advantage of them. Furthermore, the church should allow women to become priests. As well, I don’t think they were demonizing women in their discussion. There are those fans though who do not see Gabriel for what he is for first and foremost: a human, and not just an actor. I’ll admit, I’ll probably always have ‘a’ or ‘this’ love for Gabriel, though at the same time it is not just “sexual” things about him which many like. One cannot help but to admire his genius. Just to discuss things with him….the world at large, or why is the sky blue…that would be enough. Though I know as with many actors-he gets many of those which probably get to be overbearing because they try to “stalk” or “do him” whenever possible. There are many stages to this: being awed by him, being a fan of him, those crazy seemingly “sexual at the ready fans”-I suppose kind of like how Daniel Radcliffe outed the one towel girl that tried to give him her towel, and she was wearing just a bathing suit I think it was, >.> I suppose there are the fans trying to get out of their bad life to try to work with him-whether they be aspiring actors/actresses who want to-screenwriters, interviewers and what have you. Hmm…..just a few of my thoughts now.

  2. I think the interview with Gabriel on The Michael Des Barres Show was a very good and interesting interview. I especially liked to listen to Gabriel talking about the film industry today and how society is working in USA now.
    I have no intention of not being a fan of Gabriel in the future. If he continues to be the man he is today I am sure I will learn a lot from him and his work also in the future. The energy I have used on being his fan I have got back 100 times, and much more than that also.

    I am grateful to Stella that has created Byrneholics! it is a nice place to be for a person that admire Gabriel’s work as an actor and as a writer and as a person that is interested in the life in the world around him.

    So I will say, let us all be a fan of Gabriel, and welcome to all new persons who discover Gabriel and want to join us here.

  3. Hi Nora,

    If you would, please clarify your points on “return” of energy.

    What manifestation of this energy that you spent on fan worship qualifies as “100 times” what you have given out can you testify as evidence of a benefit to the quality of your life? Being entertained is a wonderful feeling, yes, but clicking on a remote on a rainy night after work is not quite the same as fan worship, which takes quite an investment of energy better spent on real people.

  4. In other words, Nora (and to those whose eyes are still glazed over from the slumber of the spirit via the seduction of fandom), we need you to come back to the real world, and use that energy to do something for yourself and for your community. Too much is happening for you to remain locked in those boxes.

    Wake up.

  5. I am definitely not a person whose “eyes are glazed over from the slumber of the spirit via the seduction of fandom”. Not that long ago people were taught to follow the (impossible) examples of saints to improve themselves and society.
    Well, the world has changed and very few people still believe in saints. Today people look for living examples to remind themselves that they can indeed do better. Gabriel is honest, modest, kind, compassionate, hardworking and incredibly talented. I could do worse than choose him as my role model and I’m proud to be a fan of his.

  6. One would almost think you wrote knowing it was insulting and to delibrately provoke a reaction that you could then use in whatever it is you are doing.

  7. Aragarna

    Dear Dr. Turpin,

    Thank you for sharing your views, and I respect your opinion. But please, do not tell us what we should do.
    Fans, and fan communities are much more complex than the simple result of celebrity culture.

    I think it takes a fan to understand a fan. And even then there are multiple kind of fans. Those who will stop at physical aspects and read tabloids but won’t follow the celebrity’s career. Those who are only interested in films and series and don’t want to know anything about the actor himself. Those who are attracted by a personality. Those who are so obsessed that they’ll go to any public event their star is attending, etc…

    So, why are we fans? Because we all need heros and models. It’s something that has always existed in every society. Of course, they’re only human. Nobody’s perfect. We don’t necessarily agree with every word, every choice our “hero” will say. We only take what we need – whether it’s fantasy, inspiration, role model…

    And worshipping someone doesn’t mean being blind. Gabriel is a sensitive human being. He has his flaws, he has his bad days. He also has talent, brain and love. Usually a fan will focus on what she/he is interested in, what attracts her/him. We don’t necessarily agree with everything he says or does. But we’re not fan for what we don’t like in him, we’re fan for what we likes in him. And there are a lot of things to appreciate in Gabriel Byrne.

    Fandom comes from love and respect. Fandom is the celebration of someone (or something) we admire. Someone (or something) that entertains us. Fandom also comes from the need to share our joy and obsession with other people who will understand us. Forums, blogs and all those social networks allow us to virtually gather together and talk together.

    All this come from a positive energy. But please, don’t think we’re wasting our time or creativity. On the contrary, fandom communities are vectors of creativity.
    It’s a hobby, like any other hobby and there’s nothing wrong with having a hobby.

    We ARE a real community. It’s not because we don’t live in the same country that we’re not real. People spending their energy maintening sites and forums, people gathering info, people creating artwork, all of them, they’re bringing joy to their fellow fans. We’re sharing and spreading joy.

    You think it’s foolish? It’s not. We all have real lives with our own problems and we all need a break every once in a while. This is our escape. What do you do to relax, or feel better, reload your batteries? We go to our fandom and talk.

    The community aspect is probably the most powerful draw to fandom. We make real friends, and we visit each others. So there’s much more to fandom than worshipping someone.

    Now, let’s talk about this interview a little bit. The “slipping phone number” comment wasn’t made by Gabriel, it was made by Michael Des Barres. Should Gabriel have been more clearly stating his disagreement? Maybe, but it’s also an interview with a rather talkative host who is also his friend. But what matters is not what Des Barres thinks of us – clearly he takes us as a joke, and is pretty condescending – what matters is what Gabriel thinks. And Gabriel said nice things about us, as a community, and about Stella in particular. It was clear that Des Barres wasn’t interesting in talking seriously about us.

    Because we’ve read and watch a lot of interviews of Gabriel, a lot of his own writing too, we know that he is a very respectful man. He isn’t very comfortable with the idea that thousands of ladies love him, this is understandable, especially for a reserved man like him. But he is also a decent man and he’s always nice to the fans coming up to him. Gabriel would never say something like his friend Michael did. No, Gabriel said we’re “lovely people” and that Stella is “terrific”. Because, whatever he thinks of us, he is a gentleman and he has respect for us.


    I’m kinda shocked at these negative responses. Gabriel adores and respects you guys. Neither of us lumped you in with any other groups. The avid number of slipping fans are entirely a different breed. Why on earth would you compare yourself with them…?

    How you could turn a loving acknowledgement of his gratitude to you guys into a negative is mystifying. In terms of not being as “shocking” as advertised. In this media climate of fabricated nonsense the truth is always shocking…much respect and enjoy this moment don’t misinterpret it.

    Note from Stella: Mr. Des Barres, I edited your comment and removed the All Caps, which is perceived as “shouting.” Hope you don’t mind. Your comment is easier to read now.

    • Aragarna

      Sorry Michael if we’ve upset you. It wasn’t our intention, just as clearly it wasn’t your intention to hurt our fan feelings by reducing us to “slipping underwear” chicks.
      It probably came at the wrong time, as some recent comments here have tried to reduce us to some blind and unresponsible admirers.

      Lots of people who aren’t the “fannish” world do not understand what it is to be a fan. As though I won’t deny that there are some crazy fans who would slip their underwear to the object of their admiration, fans are a much more complex and rich community than that, and reducing us to that kind of childish behaviour is kind of insulting.
      I understand that you didn’t mean bad, but it’s just that this seem the be a pretty common view on fans and it’s tiring. Just wrong word at the wrong time I guess.
      So, no hard feelings.
      Most of all, thank you for interviewing Gabriel and sharing this moment with us. We DO are very grateful of this, because THIS is what we enjoy. Listening to Gabriel share his views on the world and different topics he feels passionate about.
      And we did appreciate Gabriel’s very kind words for us. It was very nice of him to send us this shoutout and I’m happy to know he appreciates us. He is a very kind man and that’s one of the (many) reasons we love him.

      Aragarna, France.

      And though we will all admit we have our shallow moments (Yes, we all dreamt of having Paul Weston as a shrink!), the Byrneholics community is one of the most articulate and respectul fan community you can find. And I do think it’s to Gabriel’s credit, because certain personalities tend to attract a certain kind of fans.

    • Mr. Des Barres, thanks so much for visiting the website and leaving a comment.

      While I found your interview with Mr. Byrne illuminating and indeed passionate, I did not find it “shocking.” Perhaps I am wrong but, but it seemed to me that Mr. Byrne spoke about many topics he has touched on in previous interviews. He did add some new perspectives, of course, and now Twitter is aflutter with his comments about Pope Francis and the corporate masters. That is a good thing! You are right–these things are usually NOT said in the mainstream media, but Mr. Byrne has been saying them in the mainstream media for some time now.

      For a greater understanding of the nature of the Byrneholics Fan Community, I would urge you to read the comment just above yours and the one just below it. Both Ara and Angelle encapsulate what Gabriel Byrne means to us and how he has affected our lives.

      Regarding your use of “you guys”: I don’t mean to be territorial or non-inclusive here, but the website is mine. What is written here, for the most part, is created by me. Comments are an important aspect of this website, of course, and I appreciate the participation of everyone who takes the time to share their thoughts here!

      But there are no “guys” running this thing. There is one “guy” helping me create the technical infrastructure for this homage to Gabriel Byrne (thank you, Nenad!), but generally-speaking, save for a few guest reviews, this is my work.

      So when I have a negative reaction to the way in which you and Mr. Byrne spoke about “me,” “my work,” and “Byrneholics,” it is an honest reaction. From me.

      The context within which words are spoken is so important. And that is the problem in this particular case. And, to complicate matters, we are in the midst of an intense conversation about the nature of “fandom” and this has exacerbated the situation a bit, I think.

      But oh, what you could have said in your comment! You could have said: “Stella! Sorry! Didn’t mean to imply you were a knickers-tossing fan! Love your work!” or “Don’t have hurt feelings, Stella. Gabriel really does respect what you are doing” or well, you get the idea. You did use the word “respect,” but you also asserted that I am mis-interpreting. And you assert that I am comparing myself to those knickers-tossers. No. You did that.

      This is minor stuff. You did a great interview with Mr. Byrne and you both obviously had a good time talking together about very important issues. Thanks for that.

      All the best and an Early Happy Holidays to you!

      Texas, USA

    • I can’t speak for everyone Mr Des Barres but my comment was most certainly not aimed at you or Mr Byrne. There are comments on here that I fail to comprehend as well.
      There are indeed the “slipping underwear chicks” and they are in every fandom believe me. But the rest of us tend to ignore them and hope they will go away. Unfortunately sometimes that’s all the non Fandom Folks see. And yes it annoying but it’s like water off the proverbial ducks to be honest. We’ve pretty much heard it all :)
      There have been comments made that have offended and upset the people here far more than anything that was said in your interview.
      Thank you for sharing it with us.

      Kind regards

    • Thank you, Mr. Des Barres for stopping by to clarify this misunderstanding. This is exactly how I understood the scene – neither you nor Gabriel put us in the same category as the “underwear women”. It was absolutely clear to me that Gabriel in fact separated us fans from these women by saying that we here at Byrneholics are a group of lovely people who follow what he’s doing. His nice comments about the website and Stella really made my day. But I enjoyed the whole interview. It was good that he was able to talk so freely about some very important topics that concern all of us.

      Sabine (“Moondreamer”)

  9. Dr. Turpin, If your topic is “celebrity culture” I hope that you also study other “fandoms” and social media and compare these with Byrneholics. You will not find a more balanced, well written and informative site, one that has been painstakingly developed by Stella, with its own brand of humour, intelligence and discernment. That is the allure of this “fansite”.

    Thanks to Byrneholics, I also now read more contemporary Irish writers like Edna O’Brien, John Banville, Colum McCann, Colm Toibin, Anne Enright and others; and I’ve sought out more Irish films like “Silence”, because Stella ensures that this wider artistic context is included here. As a cultural ambassador, both official and unofficial, Gabriel Byrne, along with Culture Ireland, exposed this intriguing body of work which continues to inspire and captivate us.

    The people (not just women) who follow Byrneholics are interested in Gabriel Byrne’s work, in film, tv, and theatre, or his publicly-stated ideas, activism, writing and philanthropic activities, or both. His personal life is his business, and the site is famously protective of his privacy, much to Stella’s credit.

    His writing, acting, producing and directing career has been rich, deeply-layered and non-conformist. Another part of the allure.

    To many he’s a sex bomb. OK. Let’s get THAT out of the way.

    As for his opinions, they are his own and he is entitled to them, as you are, and indeed as we are. If you want to take him to task because you believe his comments about women in the interview are sexist, then so be it. I may disagree based on my readings of other statements Byrne has made (also thanks to Byrneholics) and maybe he got talked into a corner. Maybe not. He is a 60ish, white European-born male. We live in a sexist world. I for one, can get past that and still respect his integrity for speaking out convincingly on socio-political issues. He brings the perspective of the immigrant to his observations of American populist culture that may make some Americans uncomfortable – and he observes the trials of his homeland through the distanced and enlightened point of view of one who went away (which upsets the powers that be in Ireland). And so I believe that he has a distinctive, voice. Apart. The other. Isn’t he also asking us to wake up, Dr. Turpin? Is he perhaps using the agency of his celebrity to send a message? Is that not the teacher that he was , still is, after all?

    If your intent is to deprecate the cult of celebrity and fandom, by all means, you should. Look at the revolting cult of a Charlie Sheen, or Miley Cyrus et al and look at the unrelenting barrage of American pop culture around the globe. Yes, I agree with Gabriel Byrne. Turn off the TV (I don’t have one – I prefer live theatre, dance, music, poetry readings and I’m a film geek). But, as a child, I grew up knowing more about American pop culture and celebrities than about my own country’s writers, thinkers and artists. I read them now, and I also read authors from every corner of the globe.

    So Gabriel Byrne speaks out against the morally bankrupt authority of religion and corporate dictatorship. Absolutely. From what I read on this site, we are active participants in our own very progressive countries, and so perhaps his activism and his ideas resonate with us. We are not slumbering Dr. Turpin. We are engaged by a great many aspects and ideas and activism in our own lives – this website is a community of people who share many passions, one of which is being “just a little intoxicated by Gabriel Byrne”, the man that we admittedly don’t know, but we follow his work and we are engaged by his ideas – the ones he states publicly. Maybe the one thing we can agree on about this absorbing individual is that he should publish. Bring it on, Mr. Byrne. We’ll be here.

  10. I did not mention it in my last post but it put a smile on my face and it made my heart beat faster when I heard Gabriel say his nice words about Stella and Byrneholics.
    Now I know that he understands that we are serious and respectful people from all over the world that admire his talent, his intelligence, his eloquence and his courage to speak openly.

    To Turpin I will only say that she does not understand what a treasure it is to the Byrneholic members to have this forum where we can share thoughts, information and feelings about Gabriel Byrne. It is a big gift from Stella to all the Byrneholics that she runs this website with so much love, talent and intelligence.

    Nora from Norway

  11. Hey stella. Congrats. Just cant believe he mentioned all of the byrneholics amd it was incredible video to present us with. The man is inspriring and talented to follow. Amazing

  12. Kim Serrahn

    And that woman is writing a book about our Mr. Byrne. If I were him I’d tell her to please jump off a cliff.
    I have been trying to follow Mr Byrne for over 30 years. I will admit that it was not easy but You have always been in my heart and I humbly apologize for not being able to see all your films.
    Back to the “Dr.” Once a troll always a troll. I’m gonna take some heat for this comment but you should all know me by now I say what I think, damn the torpedoes and all that. Makes me wonder if maybe she hasn’t gone over to the dark side of fandom. Well anyway some people just like to hear themselves talk even when they have nothing to say. So will this get me censured, I hope not.

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