Happy Holidays to you and welcome to this December edition of the Byrne-ing News, where you will be overwhelmed by the vast array of projects and activities Gabriel has been focused on lately!
Seriously. Overwhelmed. Books. TV Series. Movies. Interviews. Zoom sessions. The man does not stop. We hope he will stop long enough to enjoy a lovely holiday respite and eat some Christmas cookies. He deserves a break!
Now, on to the overwhelming stuff:
Walking With Ghosts, Gabriel’s latest memoir, was published by Picador/Pan Macmillan in the UK in November and the response to his new book has been fantastic! Readers have posted their love for the book at Twitter and official reviewers have given it their total approval.
And Gabriel has made himself available in so many virtual venues to talk about the book, his inspirations and his experiences, and about literature and the arts in general. It would be wonderful if he could do an old-fashioned book tour and visit the bookstores across Ireland and England and the United States, meeting fans and signing books, but “virtual” is required during this time of the pandemic–and the added virtue of “virtual” is that it can be, and usually is, global as well. So, more people are hearing about Gabriel’s book now than ever before, and that’s a good thing.
To that end, here is a heads up for his latest virtual conversation for the online celebration, To Be Irish At Christmas, Wherever You Are:
On Wednesday, December 23, at 19:00 GMT, To Be Irish presents Gabriel Byrne in Conversation
PLEASE NOTE: START TIME is 7:00 PM GMT (UK and Ireland), which is 1:00 PM Central Standard Time in the USA. Check World Time Zones Map if you have questions about the time zones.
Gabriel Byrne will be in conversation with Niall Burgess about Byrne’s memoir Walking With Ghosts, what it really means to be Irish abroad, and the significance of ‘home’.
So grab your free ticket and sit down for a nice talk with Gabriel just in time for the holidays!
Walking With Ghosts will be published by Grove Press in the United States in January, 2021. So there are two different editions, two (slightly) different book covers, and two sets of press reviews. And so I made two different book pages: one for each edition. I know, I know. I’m a librarian, though, and we live for this! Walking With Ghosts (UK) and Walking With Ghosts (USA) will exist for a time and then perhaps I’ll collate them into a single page…but perhaps not! We shall see.
These two Book Pages are “in construction,” with reviews coming soon, so keep an eye on them!
Gabriel’s new film, Death of a Ladies’ Man, had its video-on-demand premiere at the Whistler Film Festival in British Columbia, Canada this month. I know two lucky Canadians who attended the virtual festival and got to see the film. I am still talking to both of them, even though I am so filled with envy I could explode. wink
The film is a triumph for Gabriel Byrne. I’ve watched it twice, and it made me laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. He brings a nuanced pathos to the role of the “ladies man,” but also charm and wit. The film is full of unexpected turns. The songs and poetry of Leonard Cohen drive the narrative in poignant and novel ways. A must-see.
Gabriel was awarded the festival’s Maverick Award, which is completely appropriate for him, and he participated in a Talent Talk that was made available to the global audience for free. This was a lovely 46 minutes of inspiration, movie, career, and industry discussion, in which Gabriel is serious, funny, and so comfortable Zooming that you know he’s become a pro now. Here it is, in case you’ve not seen it yet:
And here he is accepting his Maverick Award:
Finally, some screencaps from Death of a Ladies’ Man by an anonymous Canadian screencapper, in whose debt we will remain!
There are rumors, and rumors of rumors, but what we know for sure is that War of the Worlds, Season Two has concluded filming in Wales and other environs and has now entered the post-production cycle.
Season One premiered in the USA in February 2020. I don’t think Season Two will be able to follow that schedule–February 2021 is just a few weeks away. So we will probably see it later in 2021.
One of the rumor-y rumors is that there will be a Season Three. And Gabriel Byrne is already signed up for it.
But you did not hear that from me. Well, you did, but don’t quote me.
It’s a cool rumor, though, isn’t it!?
Interviews on television. Interviews on radio. Podcasts. Print. Zoom interviews.
Gabriel has been talking about his book to everyone and it has been wonderful to see the response.
I have gathered some of these interviews and added them to–yes, you guessed it–the Interviews Page. More will be added soon. Go there and click on those links and you, too, can learn all about Gabriel and his new book. You will learn some other interesting things along the way, as you probably already know. The term “polymath” might make him nervous, but our Mr. Byrne has a wide-ranging intellect and he is interested in many different subjects. He’s mastered two arts of which we are aware and now he appears to be writing a novel. His interviews reflect all of this, which means he is absolutely never, ever boring. Enjoy!
So that’s the news, mostly. Now it is time for some odds and ends, cool finds, reminiscences, and more. Otherwise known as:
The Fun Stuff
Jet Set Superstar
So what was Gabriel Byrne doing in 1980, just before (I’m reasonably sure) he appeared in his first film, Excalibur? This!
RTÉ Archives has been opening up their vaults and providing access to more of their backfiles, thanks to the Internet. Here is a rare find!
Jet Set Superstar at the Archives provides some background information and another still shot or two.
Here’s the video itself:
And here are two priceless GIFS by the Amazing Josh, whom we thank:
“New” Video Interviews
The Bobbie Wygant Archive is immense, providing 50+ years of televised interviews with stars of stage and screen, as they used to say. A legend at NBC 5 in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area, Ms. Wygant is an Emmy-award-winning journalist who recently published her memoirs. Now many of her videos are being made available in a YouTube Channel devoted to her archive and guess who she interviewed? About three of Gabriel’s greatest films? Yes indeed. Enjoy!
New York Public Library Centennial Book
This image of Gabriel with the famous portrait of James Joyce has been floating around my Gallery folders for a long time. Now I finally know its origin: The book published by Penguin Press to honor the Centennial of the NYPL’s majestic 100-year-old Stephen A. Schwarzman Building!
Know the Past, Find the Future includes an introduction from Library President Paul LeClerc and features photographs of and essays by more than 100 New York luminaries — from comedian Stephen Colbert and writer Jonathan Franzen to actress Mary Louise Parker, writer Zadie Smith, and many more — with their all-time favorite item from the Library’s vast collections.
And one of those New York luminaries was Gabriel Byrne.
This behind the scenes shot popped up recently. It reminds us that those intense, driven, dramatic characters that are running around on screen trying to survive the dangers thrown at them by that darned script are actually human beings working together to give those characters life and to tell the story. How they do this is a mystery. Let’s be thankful we have them.
ZeroZeroZero is streaming at Amazon Prime USA and people continue to find it and rave about it. It’s not exactly “holiday viewing,” but it is an incredible drama spanning the globe, with tons of intense action and, most importantly, believable characters and a well-crafted plot. If THAT is your kind of “holiday viewing,” go for it!
Fan Art by Victoria Wilton
We love to shine the spotlight on talented fans who decide to turn those talents in the direction of Gabriel Byrne!
Victoria Wilton has created fan art and videos devoted to Gabriel and here are some samples of her work:
There is ALWAYS something Gabriel-related on Instagram and much of it is fun and intriguing. In addition to the current movie posters (Hereditary! OMG!) and what-not, there are blasts from the past, portraits and other fan art, and cool memes that we vaguely recall, but have forgotten. Enjoy!
Search #gabrielbyrne on Instagram yourself and you will see what I mean! These are some I found last summer.
And that’s the Byrne-ing News for December! What? Did I forget to wish you a “Happy Holidays of Your Choice”? You were perhaps hoping for a list of Gabriel Holiday Movies in which to indulge, or maybe a Gabriel Holiday Wallpaper?
Well, by now you know which movies to watch for the holidays (Little Women, Into The West, Smilla’s Sense of Snow, Carrie Pilby) and, since you looked so disappointed, here is the official Byrneholics Holiday Wallpaper for 2020. Gabriel looks introspective, thoughtful, and even a little sad here, as do we all, I imagine. It has been THAT kind of year. So let’s hope for a beautiful, peaceful, and completely different 2021!
Happy Holidays to all! heart
And this is just for fun. Don’t tell Mr. Byrne, okay? Thanks.