interviews available online
Elvis Mitchell talks with Gabriel about Walking With Ghosts
This week on The Treatment, Elvis welcomes actor and author Gabriel Byrne. Byrne has appeared in more than 70 films, including “Miller’s Crossing” and “The Usual Suspects,” and he won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Dr. Paul Weston on HBO’s “In Treatment.” Byrne’s memoir “Walking With Ghosts” details his childhood in Ireland and his path to becoming an actor. Byrne tells The Treatment his early days as an actor were often filled with confusion about how a film was made and the camera tricks often used. He says his character from “In Treatment” was an effective therapist because, even if he didn’t know the answers, he often asked the right questions. And Byrne discusses the surrealism of Irish humor and the joke from his childhood that still makes him laugh.
The Treatment Podcast episode, which aired May 4, 2021, is provided by KCRW Santa Monica, California.
Mongrel Media: Gabriel talks about Death of a Ladies’ Man
Posted to their Instagram channel March 13, 2021
Hunter@Home: Walking With Ghosts
Hunter College sponsored this virtual conversation with Gabriel Byrne and Colum McCann on March 9, 2021.
At this time of social distancing, we invite you to virtually connect with Hunter College through our Hunter@Home series. Enjoy this series of lectures, discussions and readings by members of Hunter’s distinguished faculty.
Gabriel Byrne and Colum McCann discuss Byrne’s highly anticipated memoir, “Walking with Ghosts.”
Audio Interview: Now What? With Carole Zimmer
A Conversation With Gabriel Byrne : click this link to listen to the podcast.
This conversation took place Mar 2, 2021.
You probably know Gabriel Byrne as an accomplished actor from Ireland who’s appeared in more than 80 films. But before Byrne took to the stage he had a series of odd jobs like being a plumber and a petty thief. Byrne was 40 before he appeared in his first American film Miller’s Crossing. He plays a criminal in The Usual Suspects and a psychiatrist in the series In Treatment. Byrne talks to me about his career and his memoir Wallking with Ghosts. “Now What?” is produced with the help of Steve Zimmer, Tay Glass and Alex Wolfe. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
Audio Interview: All Of It: A memoir from Gabriel Byrne
Produced by WNYC Public Radio in New York, All Of It with Alison Stewart is a live daily conversation about culture and the culture in and around New York City. This conversation took place February 16, 2021.
Actor Gabriel Byrne joins us to discuss his acclaimed memoir, Walking With Ghosts, about his childhood growing up on the outskirts of Dublin, his brief time in a seminary, and the various jobs he took in the 1960s before joining an amateur drama group.
Audio Interview: In Conversation with Mitchell Kaplan on The Literary Life Podcast
Gabriel Byrne on Navigating Past and Present, Fact and Imagination
This episode of The Literary Life with Mitchell Kaplan was recorded between Miami and Maine. Note: the podcast cannot be embedded on this page, so click the link to listen to Gabriel talking with Mitchell Kaplan about Walking With Ghosts.
From the episode:
Gabriel Byrne: When I started to write the book, I hadn’t intended to write a memoir. I was sketching just some images that were persistent in my head. I sometimes think that those images are like when you come on a fence and a sheep has left a bit of wool there; it’s just snagged. And you look at it and you say, I wonder why that’s there. Why is that image there? What does that image actually mean?
The one thing that I learned about the act of memory from writing this is number one, memory is fragmented. It doesn’t move in a chronological past, where you say that happened and then that happened. Memory jumps between the present and the past constantly. It also jumps between fact and imagination. And sometimes you have to excavate the moment to see whether this is a fact or if this is what you think you remember.
An extreme example of that would be if you went back to the house that you lived in, as an adult, and you’d say, god, it’s really small here. That’s an example of how memory can be unreliable. And that’s why I think I took a while to write the book, because I wanted to test every image from every point of view to say, okay, this is as truthful as I can be. I don’t think we can really test our memories as much as we should do. Because people say, ah, I don’t really remember that much, it’s kind of hazy. But if you get into the frame of mind where you—I’m not saying meditate, but if you really concentrate on the image, unconscious memories will start to bubble up.
I don’t think that most of what happens to us goes into this big vacuum that we can’t remember. It goes somewhere, and we have to find a way to access it. One of the things that you really remember in life, you remember kind of remarkable things. The day your mother said this or you went to that school or whatever. But what I was interested in was those tiny moments on which our lives turned and that we don’t think are important. But going up the stairs and opening the door and walking in can change your life as much as a major event that happens. I was curious about those little moments, and how are those moments stitched together with the big moments to create who you are?
In conversation with Lily King, brought to us by The Center for Fiction in Brooklyn
Lily King is the award-winning author most recently of Writers & Lovers as well as the novels The Pleasing Hour, The English Teacher, Father of the Rain, and Euphoria, one of the New York Times Book Review’s “10 Best Books of 2014,” a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Kirkus Prize. She lives in Maine.
In conversation with Hugh Linehan on the final evening of the Irish Times Winter Nights Festival — print
The Irish Times Winter Nights Festival ran January 25 – 29. Gabriel spoke with Hugh Linehan, the Arts and Culture Editor for The Irish Times, about his new book on January 29, 2021. Read the complete text here. Video may become available at some future time.
Byrne was speaking from his home in Maine, in the northeastern United States, snow visible through the window. He was eloquent and open about his life, picking up threads of themes that figured in his recently published memoir, Walking with Ghosts, which he described as trying to connect big and small moments in his life, and “how they have contributed to what I’ve become”. . .
Another story contributing to who he is was about a Christian Brother at school. “I wanted to write about violence, the violence of authority in relation to the powerless. Yes, we were beaten physically, but I think what resonated more was the emotional abuse, and the denial of self.
“That particular Brother took excitement in beating, and you could see how at the end he’d say, ‘Now, you made me do that.’ But you could feel his sense of… the perverse enjoyment, though we couldn’t articulate that at the time. But as a group, without understanding what was involved, we took violent revenge on him.”
Byrne described almost cinematically how, as the Brother cycled out of the school one day, the children started to pelt him with stones, until he was knocked off his bike. “And we stayed there long enough to see the wheel of his bicycle turning and the blood seeping through his hair.”
Years later he met the same Christian Brother, “as an old man, with a shake in his hand”, and saw “he still had the scar from where the stone hit him”. Byrne thought, I can see your scars, but you can’t see mine.
In conversation with Colum McCann at Harvard Book Store
Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series welcomed Gabriel Byrne, who was joined in conversation by novelist Colum McCann, author of the National Book Award–winning novel Let the Great World Spin. This conversation took place on January 26, 2021.
Audio Interview at Texas Public Radio
Walking With Ghosts: Gabriel Byrne’s Memoir is Mesmeric Reflection on Family, Memory, and Loss. Audio interview with host Yvette Benavides for the Book Public Podcast at Texas Public Radio, January 22, 2021.
Celebrity memoirs are not uncommon, but Byrne’s is uncommonly well written. In a lyrical narrative that is by turns uproariously funny and heartbreaking, he shares the story about growing up in Dublin and his sometimes trepidatious road to Hollywood, and reveals how inextricably bound his life as a famous actor is to the poignant echoes of his childhood.
Listen to the podcast on their podcast page, which includes text excerpts on topics from their talk, including Gabriel’s thoughts on memory, on loss, and on still being a prolific actor.
In conversation with Wesley Stace at Free Library of Philadelphia
Gabriel Byrne in conversation with musician and novelist Wesley Stace, an event sponsored by the Free Library of Philadelphia. Part of the Walking With Ghosts Virtual Book Tour, January 21, 2021:
In conversation with Roddy Doyle at Politics and Prose Book Store in Washington DC
Since 1984, Politics and Prose has been one of the premier bookstores in Washington DC, offering almost daily author events like this one recorded on January 19, 2021, as well as a great coffee and wine bar. Here Gabriel is in conversation with Roddy Doyle, acclaimed author of The Commitments, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (winner of the Booker Prize) and, most recently, Love, in addition to several collections of stories. He lives in Dublin.
This program was part of the bookstore’s “Dublin Voices” series, a collaboration between Politics and Prose Bookstore, the Embassy of Ireland, Solas Nua, and Global Irish Studies.
Print Interview with Eric Liebetrau at Kirkus Reviews
Profiles: Gabriel Byrne Did Not Write a ‘Celebrity’ Memoir. Interview by Eric Liebetrau for Kirkus Reviews, January 17, 2021.
In this evocative, impressionistic narrative, Byrne’s poetic memories shine through on every page, creating what our starred review calls “a melancholy but gemlike memoir, elegantly written and rich in hard experience.” I spoke with Byrne via Zoom from his home in Maine; the conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
In conversation with Colm Tóibín at Live Talks in Los Angeles
Gabriel Byrne in conversation with Colm Tóibín, discussing his memoir, Walking With Ghosts, on January 13 at Live Talks in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Colm Tóibín is the author of nine novels, including ‘The Master’ and ‘Brooklyn.’ His play ‘The Testament of Mary’ was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. He is Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University and a contributing editor at the London Review of Books.
Print interview with Karl Geary from Literary Hub
Gabriel Byrne Talks Memory, Loneliness and More With Karl Geary: In Conversation About Byrne’s Memoir Walking with Ghosts.
This print interview comes to us via Literary Hub, January 13, 2021.
This is part of an ongoing conversation, Gabriel and I have been having, in various coffeeshops, in various parts of the world. Today, we two near-luddites find ourselves on Zoom, in Maine and Glasgow respectively.
In conversation with Steven Winn at City Arts and Lectures
City Arts and Lectures Public Radio podcast of “Gabriel Byrne in conversation with Steven Winn” was recorded on January 12, 2021. City Arts made this recording available for free to everyone. You can thank them by making a tax-deductible contribution to support public radio in the USA, an important service we really need!
In conversation with Zibby Owens at the Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Video and Podcast
Gabriel Byrne: Walking With Ghosts. Moms Don’t Have Time to Read, a podcast with host Zibby Owens, January 12, 2021.
Gabriel Byrne’s memoir is absolutely gorgeous, and he has so much wisdom to share. His interview with Zibby was briefly interrupted by a goat in the background, but they still got to chat about how his love of literature started with his mother reading classics at bedtime, finding his authentic voice, and the deep work it took to write about the most painful areas of his life.
Print interview by Sarah Lyall for The New York Times
This Time, He Stars In His Own Story: Gabriel Byrne, known for his contemplative performances in “The Usual Suspects” and “In Treatment,” contends with his unlikely path to acting in his memoir, “Walking With Ghosts.” Interview and review by Sarah Lyall for The New York Times, January 7, 2021.
Portrait by Linda Nylind for The Guardian
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Actor Gabriel Byrne talks to Sarah Halliwell about his new memoir which traces his route from Dublin to Hollywood with humour and honesty. By Sarah Halliwell for The Gloss, December 28, 2020
Fractured Identity: Irish actor Gabriel Byrne says coming home is “conflicting” thing for an emigrant. By Nicola Bardon for The Irish Sun, December 27, 2020
Gabriel, from his home in Maine, talks with Niall Burgess, Secretary General at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland, about his memoir Walking With Ghosts, what it really means to be Irish abroad, and the significance of ‘home’. December 23, 2020:
Gabriel, from his home in Maine, talks with Sarah and Trevor at The Little Museum of Dublin, December 19, 2020:
Talent Talk with Gabriel Byrne at the 2020 Virtual Whistler Film Festival in British Columbia, Canada, December 8, 2020. Gabriel talks with host Johanna Schneller about his career and his new film Death of a Ladies’ Man:
Dingle Literary Festival was a virtual affair this year, but that just meant that more of us were able to participate in this literary event than ever before! Gabriel was interviewed by critic and writer Mia Colleran on November 20, 2020.
A life-long relationship with words: Gabriel Byrne reflects on Irish identity, language and the literature that influences him.
What will the interview be about?
How does Gabriel Byrne personally define ‘being Irish’ and how does the Irish language and literature influence his answer? Gabriel will discuss all of this with Mia, delving into his relationship with America—where he lives now—and Ireland, while also sharing some of the defining works of literature of his life and their influence on his own writing.
Mia Colleran is an Irish book critic and an award-winning writer and bookseller.
Gabriel Byrne: How Acting In The Riordans Prepared Me For Hollywood Fame. Audio interview on The Last Word with Matt Cooper, November 16, 2020
Gabriel Byrne: ‘There’s no such thing as an ordinary life’ There’s nothing better than a good yarn and finding out what makes someone who they are, and acting legend Gabriel Byrne has written a touching memoir about just that, called Walking With Ghosts. The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on VirginRadioUK, November 16, 2020 (highlights only, no audio)
Gabriel Byrne on abuse, alcoholism and his new memoir. By Teddy Jamieson for The Herald, Scotland, November 15, 2020
Gabriel Byrne: ‘One teacher had 14 words for stupid and called me each one’. Gabriel Byrne panicked and ran when The Usual Suspects was a big hit at Cannes. It was only when writing his memoir Walking With Ghosts that he realised why. By Tommy Conlon for Independent.ie, November 15, 2020
Gabriel Byrne: Every life is extraordinary. Gabriel Byrne on listening, and why for him sometimes there is no resolution to trauma. Audio interview on BBC Radio 4 Saturday Live, November 14, 2020
Gabriel Byrne: ‘Dublin prepared me for Hollywood. I was ready for the bulls**t’ In his new memoir, Walking with Ghosts, the actor tells of his struggle with fame and of the sexual abuse he endured while training for the priesthood, and reflects on a rapidly changing Ireland. By Donald Clarke for The Irish Times, November 14, 2020
Gabriel Byrne, Zooming in from Maine, USA, joins host Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show. Video excerpt only, November 13, 2020:
The Verb on ‘green’ memoir – with the actor and writer Gabriel Byrne, and the poets Elizabeth-Jane Burnett and Pascale Petit. What would our stories sound like if we told them through our relationships with the plants, animals and landscapes that are most dear to us? What happens when we start to see the natural world as an integral part of our own histories? Audio interview hosted by Ian McMillan on BBC Sounds, November 13, 2020
Gabriel Byrne: “There’s a shame about men speaking out. A sense that if you were abused, it was your fault.” The actor’s autobiography confronts the abuse he experienced at the hands of the church. But he has just as much contempt for Hollywood – and US presidents from Obama to Trump. By Catherine Shoard for The Guardian, November 8, 2020
Portrait by Linda Nylind for The Guardian
To celebrate Gabriel’s milestone birthday in May, two interviews were published:
‘I have demons I wrestle with … I’ll never defeat them but I try to keep them at bay’ – Gabriel Byrne on turning 70 by Barry Egan for Independent.ie, May 17, 2020 (behind a paywall)
Gabriel Byrne at 70: Revisiting a Classic Interview by The HotPress News Desk, May 12, 2020
“As Gabriel Byrne celebrates his 70th birthday, we’re revisiting one of his classic interviews with Hot Press. In this powerful 2016 interview, he tells Roe McDermott why we should charge multi-nationals more for doing business in Ireland; talks about sexism in Hollywood; Donald Trump; and excoriates the political classes in Ireland…”
War of the Worlds cast on updating a classic: ‘It’s extremely pertinent to the world we live in today’ March 6, 2020
Gabriel Byrne, Elizabeth McGovern and the cast of the sci-fi series take us behind the scenes on their thrilling adaptation of the HG Wells classic.
Barry Egan: Evergreen Gabriel Byrne brought to book Independent.ie, March 22, 2020
Gabriel Byrne, the Survivor by Claire Stevens for Paris Match, November 4, 2019. This interview, which was in French, is no longer available on the Internet. There is an English translation, however!
Behind the Scenes With Gabriel Byrne, Elizabeth McGovern on ‘War of the Worlds’ by Ben Kroll for Variety, October 14, 2019
RTE Radio 1: Second Captain’s Saturday: Gabriel Byrne Irish sports podcast, originally aired August 18, 2018.
“Gabriel Byrne is a true acting great – star of Miller’s Crossing, The Usual Suspects and Stigmata , not to mention his Golden Globe winning TV roles and stunning Broadway performances. As a former victim of clerical abuse, he talks to us about the Papal visit, Ireland’s relationship with Catholicism, and the time he met Muhammad Ali.”
Please note: the RTE Player can be difficult to get working. Be sure you have Flash loaded in your browser. You will have better luck if you use Chrome and not other browsers for this purpose. This podcast is available on other podcast platforms like SoundCloud, BUT this episode with Gabriel is not. So you are stuck with the RTE Player. Sorry.
Gabriel Byrne’s appearance on the Late Late Show moved the nation by Rebecca Keane for The Irish Post, February 17, 2018
Gabriel Byrne on his alcoholism: ‘One day I woke up and I said, if I don’t stop this, I am going to die’ by Caitlin McBride for Independent.ie, February 17, 2018
Gabriel Byrne on Weinstein: ‘He was a violent bully. He had such power’ / The Dublin actor on sex harassment, and why fame is like being trapped in a drum, by Tanya Sweeney for The Irish Times, February 17, 2018
Emotional Gabriel Byrne says Lifetime Achievement award is ‘about the life I’ve led’ RTÉ Entertainment, February 16, 2018
Gabriel Byrne on why he’s ‘unapologetically’ pro-choice by Fionnuala Moran for Goss.ie, February 15, 2018
Gabriel Byrne: People coming in and making films in Ireland cheaply–that’s not an industry interview for The Journal.ie, February 16, 2018
Gabriel Byrne thanks ‘darling’ wife in emotional Lifetime Achievement speech by Eva Hall for Extra.ie, February 15, 2018
Gabriel Byrne in conversation with Colum McCann, a Lannan Foundation podcast, January 31, 2018
Paul Jay interviewed Gabriel for Reality Asserts Itself at The Real News during the holidays.
The four videos in this posting are each about 22 minutes long. Parts 1 – 3 focus on Gabriel’s experiences growing up in Ireland, becoming an actor, and developing his political views. Part 4 is about climate change, an increasingly important issue dear to his heart.
‘I applauded Daniel for quitting acting’, says his pal Gabriel Byrne by Lynn Kelleher for Independent.ie, December 6, 2017
Life as an Aging Actor: Interview with Gabriel Byrne, Donna Murphy, and Lee Wilkof talking about their film No Pay, Nudity on the Leonard Lopate Show, February 14, 2017:
Gabriel Byrne: Confessions of a Contender: The Tony Awards Best Actor nominee talks to Max McGuinness about success, prizes and Catholic guilt, by Max McGuinness for Financial Times, May 27, 2016
Gabriel Byrne: “Acting is really all about being yourself,” by James Mottram for The Belfast Telegraph, April 23, 2016
Gabriel Byrne: “There’s a difference between a great star and a great actor”, by Donald Clarke for The Irish Times, April 21, 2016
Of Booze, Brutal Honesty and Family: Long Day’s Journey Into Night, by Alexis Solosky for The New York Times, April 19, 2016
Gabriel Byrne takes look back at life in “Louder Than Bombs”, by Stephen Schaefer for Boston Herald, April 17, 2016
Gabriel Byrne has every reason to be enjoying life ahead of his new film, by Helen Barlow for The Irish Examiner, April 15, 2016
Gabriel Byrne on Miller’s Crossing, Dead Man, and The Usual Suspects, by Sam Fragoso for The AV Club, April 4, 2016
Gabriel Byrne on Dysfunctional Families, His “Batman V Superman” Sons, by Jennelle Riley for Variety, March 30, 2016
Gabriel Byrne called local radio show KCLR Live in Ireland on August 6, 2015 and talked to John Masterson. Gabriel shared his passionate views in favor of keeping the Barrow Way just as it is…and he discussed his work on In Treatment as well!
Róisín Ingle talks with Gabriel Byrne about the new book Sons+Fathers and other topics as part of her Róisín Meets podcast series for the Irish Times, June 19, 2015:
Great Conversations: Gabriel Byrne, by Alex Simon for The Huffington Post (interview originally published in 2009), July 5, 2015
Gabriel Byrne on romance, privacy, and the end of the world, by Catherine Shoard for The Guardian, May 28, 2015 (interview at Cannes)
‘I was abused – now I’m tackling it on TV’: Gabriel Byrne’s had painful personal experience of the murky world at the heart of his new drama, by Tim Oglethorpe for Daily Mail (UK), May 16, 2014
Gabriel Byrne: The Art of Stillness, by Michael Dunaway for Paste Magazine, April 1, 2014
Gabriel Byrne: Government doesn’t really care about the arts, by Sarah Slater for Irish Mirror, January 25, 2014
Gabriel Byrne: Corporations Are the New Dictators, by THR Staff for The Hollywood Reporter, December 5, 2013
‘It was almost a Taliban-esque society’: Gabriel Byrne goes crashing into the past in ‘Quirke’, by Gerard Gilbert for The Independent UK, September 22, 2013
Gabriel Byrne: Religion Didn’t Do Me Any Good, by Nigel Farndale for The Telegraph, April 5, 2013
The HeyUGuys Interview: Gabriel Byrne on Tarantino, The Coens and All Things to All Men, by Jon Lyus, April 5, 2013
Byrne describes Catholic Church as ‘force for evil’, by Nick Bramhill for The Irish Times, March 31, 2013–this interview is now behind The Irish Times paywall
Interview with Actor Gabriel Byrne, by Jill Rachel Jacobs for The Huffington Post, March 13, 2013
Gabriel Byrne (“Secret State”) Interview, by Cultbox, November 10, 2012
Gabriel Byrne on Secret State: playing the power game, by Chris Harvey for The Telegraph (UK), November 2, 2012
Interview: Gabriel Byrne, by Tony Clayton Lea, on his website, September 16, 2012
Brooding? I don’t even know what that means, by Hadley Freeman for The Guardian, April 25, 2011
Gabriel Byrne Surveys America’s Problems, by Henry Giardina for Bullett Magazine, November 8, 2011. The complete interview is no longer available. Bullet Magazine has closed its doors, unfortunately. Part of the interview and the accompanying images can be enjoyed at this posting for it.
Gabriel Byrne: In My Library, by Barbara Hoffman for The New York Post, June 12, 2011
Imagining Ireland With Gabriel Byrne, by Sheila Langan for Irish Central, May 12, 2011
Gabriel Byrne tells of childhood sexual abuse, by Henry McDonald for The Guardian, January 19, 2010
Comfortable But Not Too Familiar, by Amy Chozick for The Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2010
All Ears: How Gabriel Byrne turns listening into eloquence on HBO’s In Treatment, by Emily Nussbaum for New York Magazine, October 24, 2010
Is Gabriel Byrne a suitable case for treatment? by Amy Raphael for The Guardian, October 16, 2009
Gabriel Byrne: Talk To Me by Alex Simon for Venice Magazine, April 2009
Gabriel Byrne and The Art of Listening by Terry Gross for NPR’s Fresh Air, April 30, 2009
On the couch with Gabriel, by Barry Egan for the Belfast Telegraph, April 10, 2009
Show’s left him feeling Gabriel Byrne’d out, by David Hinckley for New York Daily News, April 3, 2009
Gabriel Byrne feels your pain, by Sarah Hepola for Salon, April 2, 2009
An actor with a lot on his mind, by Belinda McKeon for The Irish Times, February 7, 2009
Gabriel Byrne, by John Maguire at his blog Confessions of a Film Critic, February, 2009
Role of Choice: Family Man, by John Clark for The Los Angeles Times, October 6, 2000
Gabriel Byrne: Talent to Byrne, from the Movieline Vault, July 1, 1992
video and audio interviews
Audio interview and transcription from The Last Word Interview (November 2012)
“The Meaning of Life” with interviewer Gay Byrne talking to Gabriel Byrne in 2010
Video interview with Charlie Rose, including transcript: Wednesday 03/05/2008 Actor Gabriel Byrne focuses on his newest role playing a psychotherapist tending to his patients while his own life unravels in HBO’s “In Treatment.”
Link to the Press Archive, in the Gallery, where you can find scans of print interviews with Gabriel, as well as film and TV reviews, from 1981 to the present.