Welcome to the final Byrne-ing News for this year! And what a year it has been. As you can see from the Official Holiday Card below, Gabriel has been as busy as ever, on stage in the UK and on Broadway, in films and television series, doing interviews, telling jokes, and generally being his inspirational and peripatetic self. Keep reading for a run-down on his recent activities (and some fun links, too!) in this first part of the last Byrne-ing News for 2022. And I wish you warm, merry, and bright holidays, as always! –Stella heart
Walking With Ghosts : Broadway and Beyond
The play closed earlier on Broadway than planned, but that’s just fine. The grumbling sounds you hear are me complaining about silly New York audiences and sillier critics. Bah Humbug! I say. The good news is Gabriel might be taking Walking With Ghosts on the road, which means more of us might have an opportunity to see him in the theater! Also, he continues to work on his novel. Gosh! All of this makes the New Year very special, does it not!?
From his December 2 interview at The New York Times [this link may or may not get you past the paywall. Good luck!]
Though he is finished with “Walking With Ghosts” — for now — he suggested that a return to the blue blazer and black boots may not be far off. He’s had offers to do the show in other cities — he has his eye on Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, he said — and international plans are in the works. “The producers want it to go to Australia and Canada,” said Byrne, who lives in Rockport, Maine, with his wife, Hannah Beth King, a documentary filmmaker, and their young daughter. (He has two adult children with Barkin.) “We’ll see. I don’t think Sunday night is the end of it.”
In the meantime, he’s working on a new book, his first novel, which will explore themes of immigration and exile. He’s also looking forward to catching up on the movies he hasn’t had time to see and popping in and out of Broadway theaters — now as an audience member. (On his list: The recent revival of “Death of a Salesman.”) “I’ve been living in the world of books and the streets of New York, which is a continuous novel,” he said. “You never stop turning the pages.”
Is our favorite Irishman at home in Maine for the holidays? I don’t know. He never tells me anything! rolleyes
Charlie Mackesy’s book comes to our screens December 25!
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is a holiday gift for your screen and your heart. I know. So sentimental. But if you aren’t going to be sentimental during the holidays, then WHEN are you?
BBC and Apple TV+ will bring this new animated film of Charlie’s delicious book to us on Christmas Day. So, bake the cookies. Make the eggnog and the glühwein. Stoke the fire in the fireplace. Put on your best ugly Christmas sweater. Grab everyone and sit together to enjoy this short story about friendship, kindness, and hope. ‘Tis the season to remember the importance of these things. I’m so glad Gabriel is part of this and I can’t wait to see it!
War of the Worlds, Season 3 is out now
Now for an abrupt shift in tone, let’s go to the future.
The unpleasant, dystopian, everyone-is-running-from monsters future. Being a hero in that future when you have no superpowers is so hard. We have watched Bill Ward (Gabriel Byrne’s character), the neuroscientist upon whose shoulders the fate of the world rests, run and think and fight and grieve. Now, in Season 3, he is faced with so many seemingly insurmountable problems that we can’t see how he or anyone else can possibly survive.
The thing about heroes, though, is that they never give up. Watch Season 3 of Howard Overman’s reimagining of War of the Worlds and see Gabriel never giving up. It’s pretty darned inspirational. HE is pretty darned inspirational.
The series is now screening on SBS in Australia and they are very excited about it:
War Of The Worlds Is The Best Post-Apocalyptic Show Since The Walking Dead–an absolute must-watch.
In much the same way The Walking Dead had us glued to our screens back in the 2010s, War of the Worlds is perfectly poised to make an impression on us in 2022. Not only have we been through a pandemic, which has taught us what it’s like for the world to radically change in our own lifetimes, but we’ve also seen a real roaring 20s, live for the moment, grasp-life-by-the-neck attitude to life engendered in many of us in the wake of COVID-restrictions loosening.
We’ve seen phenomena like revenge travelling, entrepreneurship and The Great Resignation boom, as both individuals and companies re-assess how they want to live their lives, what they want to reach for and where their priorities lie. In that respect, War of the Worlds season 3 is the ultimate ode to The Now – it perfectly captures and feeds into public sentiment in 2022.
War of the Worlds season 3 is the perfect combination of a series that plays on your fears, sparks your imagination and makes you interrogate what it means to be human when everything (whether in the real world or a fantasy one) feels like it’s falling apart. The writing and cinematography are both excellent too (it really knows how to build the tension).
Need a little “scary” to balance out all the “sweet and spice” of the season? Season 3 of War of the Worlds is the answer. You’ll still need some eggnog, though. wink
And speaking of The Walking Dead, its director/producer Greg Nicotero is set to re-make a film from Gabriel’s past, The Keep. What do you think about that!?
Dance First, new Samuel Beckett biopic, is in post-production
Ok. Back to the past.
Post-production, for those who are wondering, is the process that occurs after primary filming of a movie or TV episode is complete. Editing, music score, special effects, adding voice-overs and additional dialogue all occur during this time. So, Dance First is in the lab, becoming itself!
No release date, promotional materials, or poster are available yet. But you know all of that good stuff is on the way to us in 2023, another good reason to anticipate the New Year with excitement!
In the Variety article announcing the film, director James Marsh said:
“ ‘Dance First’ is an imaginative, playful and often poignant account of the life of Samuel Beckett. The film has a bold structure that sees Beckett discussing his life’s mistakes with another version of himself, an antagonistic alter ego. But you don’t need to be a student of Beckett to enjoy this film – the script is both witty and dramatic, focusing on the key relationships in his life and including some startling episodes such as his active involvement in the French Resistance and his near-fatal stabbing by a pimp in Paris. We have Gabriel Byrne attached to play both the mature Beckett and his alter-ego and we expect to build a powerful ensemble cast around him.”
For an in-depth look at this iconic writer, check out Robert McCrum’s article in The Guardian: “Another Side of Samuel Beckett”.
Murder at Yellowstone City is streaming now
Now let’s get historical.
Joe Leydon, the film critic for the newspaper I read for many years in Houston, Texas, writes for lots of places now, including Variety. I’ve always appreciated his take on films, which involves both a critical eye and a heart that loves good stories. I even bought his book (which is great, by the way, and a very useful guide)! Unlike some reviewers, whose opinion of this new Gabriel movie is, shall we say, luke-warm, Joe is enthusiastic. He loves Westerns, and this one—and Gabriel’s work in it—is just fine by him.
And then there is Sheriff James Ambrose (Gabriel Byrne), a stern ex-soldier who isn’t given to unreasonable brutishness, but feel feels totally (and justifiably) confident in his ability to keep the peace because of his fearsome reputation. Unfortunately, that attitude leads him to immediately assume that, when there is a murder in Yellowstone City, a newcomer simply must be responsible because he’d be “the only man who doesn’t know what I’ll do to him.” The beauty part of Byrne’s tightly controlled, fully committed performance is that, even when Ambrose’s determination to preserve law and order escalates into unshakable fanaticism, he stops way short of becoming the movie’s bad guy.
I like that. heart
Lamborghini is streaming now
Zoom! Zoom! Do you love the smell of burning asphalt in the morning? Good. This film is probably going to make you very happy.
I have not seen it yet, but it is on my To Be Watched list. I love fast cars and Gabriel Byrne and Italy, so this is just my cup of tea. I mean, I’ll have Il Bombardino, per favore! Zoom!
Some fun stuff to close out Part 1 of the Holiday 2022 Byrne-ing News:
Brendan Gleeson talks about Gabriel Byrne in an Irish Times interview for his new film, Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin
Both (Colin) Farrell and (Barry) Keoghan had an eye on movie stardom from an early age. That must have seemed close to unattainable when (Brendan) Gleeson was winning plaudits at the Project Arts Centre in the 1980s.
“I would have taken inspiration from Gabriel, particularly,” Gleeson says. “And obviously Liam. But Gabriel is the one who proved that you could do it coming from a theatrical background. He was also a teacher for a couple of years. So there was that. He always had a kind of integrity. He didn’t lose himself in the maelstrom. I have admired him from the very beginning. ‘Why should we not go into this?’ He managed to dodge London. Previously, London was the only way to do it. There was a lot of curbing of the natural instinct that happened for Irish actors in London. But there was a difference between our generation and Colin’s. The bravery and the abandon you went with. That is a different kind of Irishman.”
The Banshees of Inisherin is now streaming everywhere to much acclaim and talk of awards, so check it out!
Gabriel Byrne’s Six Favorite Books with Memorable Characters
From The Week.com comes a list of some of Gabriel’s favorite books. There might be one or two here that surprise you (Don Quixote!?), so do take a look. My favorite of his favorites?
Hereditary. Hereditary? Yes! Home for the Holidays! mindblown
A new family tradition: the Hereditary Gingerbread Tree House. Ok. Maybe not, but you must give A24, the company behind two of this year’s best films—The Whale and Everything Everywhere All At Once—credit for inspired holiday marketing. Yummy!
I have decided to keep the Byrneholics Twitter account alive (for as long as Twitter is around, I suppose), but I will not be maintaining it. I know people interested in Gabriel Byrne look at the account from time to time–it has been in existence since 2009 and has lots of information and pics.
Also, I will not be sharing the Byrneholics Twitter Feed here in future. I did have a Twitter Feed Widget set up in the Sidebar that you see when you are reading postings, but I have removed it.
I have experimented with Instagram, but I fear that social media is just a bit too toxic for me at the moment. Facebook will continue, of course, with Violetta providing wise administration, for which we thank her!
So, if you want to know what’s going on in the World of Gabriel Byrne and Byrneholics, you should probably subscribe to this blog (look to the Sidebar on the right side of this page near the top to do that) and visit our Facebook Page.
Happy Holidays! heart
Happy Holidays to Byrneholics Everywhere! Part 2 of the Holiday 2022 Byrne-ing News will be here shortly. Until then: eat, drink (eggnog!), and be merry and keep the home fires Byrne-ing! heart