What an incredible year you have given us!
Yes, even in the midst of a global pandemic, you managed to create movies and television series. You published a new BOOK! And you also Zoomed into history, with so many Zoom sessions I could barely keep up with you!
Your book has touched so many people all over the world. Reviewers are one thing–and the reviews for your book have been stupendous. But readers of all kinds have found Walking With Ghosts a surprising and unexpected window into your life: your words inspiring, your vulnerability so moving, and your sense of humor giggle-inducing (“Does this taste funny to you?”). That’s a lovely accomplishment and everyone here at Byrneholics joins in the chorus of kudos for your success.
BUT you were not content to just be a successful author. No, you would not be content until you scared the pants off of us in War of the Worlds and then took us on the roller coaster ride that is ZeroZeroZero. TV was suddenly full of Gabriel and this was a different Gabriel: intense, dark, and sometimes even scary! If a pandemic had to be endured–and it did–then spending time with you in scary places doing scary things was a fascinating antidote to the real fears facing us every day. Fight fire with fire, you seemed to be saying. So we did!
And, since Death was hanging out on every street corner this past year, it seems only fitting that the film in which you starred featured Death in at least a supporting role. Death of a Ladies’ Man is somehow everything that the time of the pandemic has been: tragic, surreal, playful, macabre, luminous, heartbreaking, absurd, and poignant. That’s a lot for one film! But it works. And your work as Samuel O’Shea is herculean. How did you find all those colors and tones and how did you disappear into that character so perfectly? Always a wonderment, when your acting skill meets a role that truly speaks to you and to us.
Zoom was pretty boring before you came along. You might have felt that all those Zoom sessions about your new book just melted into one long session of you talking into a screen and saying the same thing over and over. That is NOT what happened. I can attest that you always found a way to say something new and to tackle a question from a surprising angle. Your Zoom partners were all different. You were the same, but not the same. I know I learned many new things about you, your experiences, and your way of looking at the world and at the past during each one of those sessions. So THANK YOU for doing them all!
And now another year has passed and you are off in Montana (I think) shooting a new film, with another one waiting in the wings in Germany (I think) and who knows what else you have on your calendar for the coming year.
This year was a STELLAR (sorry, that’s my word, you know!) year for you and for us. Thank you so much for sharing with us and for keeping us busy while all around us things were going to “hell in a hand basket,” as my mother used to say. I believe we have come out on the other side now. Your book, your screen projects, and YOU truly helped.
So Happiest of Birthdays to you, Gabriel Byrne! And we wish you many, many more! heart