Interviews, 2013 – 2016

Return to Interviews – Main

Excerpts and links to text and video interviews available online, including podcasts


In 2016, Gabriel’s great film, Louder Than Bombs, was released and he appeared in his third Eugene O’Neill play on Broadway: Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Both projects received much acclaim.

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

NB. I attended the “I broke the chair” performance of the play. –Stella heart

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

“The phrase “good talker” can mean several things. Sometimes, we are merely suggesting that the subject won’t shut up. Gabriel Byrne, who overcame those early prejudices to become a rare Irish movie star, is something else together. a great lecturer.”

Gabriel Byrne attends the photocall for Louder Than Bombs at Cannes Film Festival, 2015.

He crafts sentences into disciplined paragraphs that nest within one another to form long elegant arguments. He was a teacher in the 1970s. He would have made … He gave up teaching in 1977 to do a small play in the Project. In 1981 he played Uther Pendragon in John Boorman’s Excalibur. Four years later he took the lead in the admired British thriller Defence of the Realm. His cyclonic, sombre good looks and deep brown voice have been in demand ever since.

Cast Interview: Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Jessica Lange, with John Gallagher, Jr., Michael Shannon, and Gabriel Byrne

Of Booze, Brutal Honesty and Family: Long Day’s Journey Into Night, by Alexis Solosky for The New York Times, April 19, 2016

What do you do when the show finishes? Do you have a real drink together?

SHANNON We mostly see each other onstage. We kind of disappear afterward. We had this notion of, “Oh, we’re going to have family dinners and bonding time.” None of it has happened.
BYRNE It’s very true. We meet on the stage, and we meet in those moments. We’ve developed this bond as characters, not as people. Or am I wrong about that?
SHANNON I’m looking forward to maybe eventually having a picnic.
BYRNE In Central Park.
LANGE A potluck.
GALLAGHER All the Tyrones.
BYRNE Long Night’s Journey Into Day.

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

The A. V Club Interview

We are treated to Gabriel’s musings on some of his most iconic roles (and some tiny ones, too) in this fun interview that includes 4 trailers and lots of behind-the-scenes insight.

Gabriel Byrne on Miller’s Crossing, Dead Man, and The Usual Suspects, by Sam Fragoso for The AV Club, April 4, 2016

Near the end of the interview, Gabriel is asked if he can pinpoint when he grew up and became himself (they have been discussing the plot of Louder Than Bombs, of course).

GB: I think that’s an ongoing process. I think that life is like a series of curtains and you open a curtain and then there’s another curtain. And your life just reveals more and more of yourself to yourself, without ever getting to a place where you think, “I completely know who I am now.”

Because you never really do. Most of the time we’re not really tested.

There’s this great movie with Dustin Hoffman about a plane that crashes [Hero], and he’s the guy who goes back in to rescue the people. Or he’s the guy that runs away. I can’t remember.

AVC: And so which guy are you?

GB: I know what I’d like to be. Whether I’d be that or not, I don’t know.

Variety Interview

Gabriel Byrne on Dysfunctional Families, His “Batman V Superman” Sons, by Jennelle Riley for Variety, March 30, 2016. This print interview has a 5 minute long audio component, so check it out, too.

When your stage life and your film life collide:

By the way, I just realized that your son in the film is Lex Luthor and your son in the play is General Zod.
He is? Which son?

Michael Shannon, he played General Zod in “Man of Steel.”
Is he? I never knew that! Oh my gosh. I must talk to him about that tomorrow. That’s really interesting. Is he in the new one?

Well, his body makes a cameo; actually, Jesse steals it.
Oh dear God, that’s amazing. My kids are stealing each other’s bodies and God knows what else without my knowledge.


Interview at Cannes

Gabriel is interviewed at Cannes Film Festival by 3SAT German Television. In this excerpt, he discusses his new film, Louder Than Bombs.

The Barrow Way

Gabriel Byrne called in to local radio show KCLR Live in Ireland on August 6, 2015 to talk with John Masterson. Gabriel shared his passionate opinion in favor of keeping the Barrow Way just as it is . . . and he discussed his work on In Treatment as well!

Sons + Fathers Podcast with Róisín Ingle

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, July 5, 2015.

This interview was originally published in Venice Magazine, in 2009. It’s a wide-ranging and fascinating interview, covering everything from Gabriel’s film and TV roles to the film industry and politics in general. As Alex Simon says: “I interviewed actor Gabriel Byrne by phone in 2009, my final interview for Venice Magazine. It was simultaneously one of the easiest and most difficult conversations I’ve ever had. Easy because Byrne and I had that very rare thing: an instant rapport.”

The Guardian interview at Cannes

Gabriel Byrne on romance, privacy, and the end of the world, by Catherine Shoard for The Guardian, May 28, 2015 [a 30-minutes interview at Cannes].

The Irish actor is in a sombre mood as he talks about the things that concern him and new movie Louder than Bombs (about the fallout from a suicide)

Hi Gabriel, how is Cannes?

Frenetic and demented (1). The last time I was here, I left absolutely exhausted; I was sick for about three weeks afterwards. So I determined this time I was going to be zen. People keep telling me they have lost their minds. There are a lot of mislaid minds around the place.

Footnote: (1) He looks quite relaxed, though. Sky-blue linen blazer, big twinkly face.


From this interview about the new BBC series, Quirke:

Quirke smokes and drinks too much too. He’s mourning a dead wife and he has a closet full of secrets, including an ill-fated affair with his brother’s wife Sarah, played by Geraldine Somerville.

‘He spends a lot of time in his subterranean office and he’s much more at home among the dead than he is among the living,’ explains Byrne, who had to smoke packet after packet of menthol cigarettes and drink copious amounts of grape juice – substitutes for the cigarettes and red wine his character gets through – during the five-month shoot in Dublin.

‘He has a wounded past, something most people can relate to, and hides his vulnerability beneath an exterior of detachment. But he’s determined to find out the truth if he believes there are suspicious circumstances surrounding a death.’

Paste Magazine talks with Gabriel Byrne about Just A Sigh

Gabriel Byrne: The Art of Stillness, by Michael Dunaway for Paste Magazine, April 1, 2014

Paste: Let’s start out by talking about how you came to the project. You’ve worked with some great actors in the past, but I’ve got to assume that having the opportunity to work with someone like Emmanuelle Devos is probably one of the things that attracted you to the project, is that right?
Gabriel Byrne: Oh, absolutely, yeah. Emmanuelle Devos for sure—who I think is one of the great French actors—and Jerome Bonnell is I think a really up-and-coming young director. But also, I found the script kind of intriguing, the idea that you live an entire love affair in 24 hours.

I think it’s a thought that’s kind of crossed everybody’s mind now and then, what if you accidentally meet someone with whom you develop what the French call a “coup de folle”, which is an instinctive illogical sense that it doesn’t belong to any kind of intellectual decision. Purely a physical instinctive reaction to a stranger. And within those 24 hours, you kind of go through the gamut of an emotional journey with this other person, and then you part at a train station. It reminded me a little bit, I have to say, of Brief Encounter, which happens to be one of my favorite films.

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. The star of History’s “Vikings” spoke candidly in a radio interview about politics and why Pope Francis may not be able to alter Catholic Church policies.

‘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. The new BBC drama series is set in the 1950s Ireland of Byrne’s childhood.

A long-term resident of America, Byrne returned to the Dublin of his abused childhood earlier in the year to film Quirke, the BBC’s adaptation of John Banville’s 1950s-set thrillers, which Banville writes under the pseudonym of Benjamin Black. “Crashing into the past” is how Byrne describes the experience. “By absolute coincidence we filmed in the very first apartment I ever had, on Pembroke Road,” he says. “We shot in the theatre where I made my first professional appearance – I hadn’t been in there since – and to walk into it… phew! Déjà vu doesn’t begin to describe it.”

Gabriel Byrne: Religion Didn’t Do Me Any Good, by Nigel Farndale for The Telegraph, April 5, 2013 [This interview is now behind The Telegraph’s paywall]

On the set of Capital, 2013

Click the image to start the video.

The HeyUGuys Interview

The HeyUGuys Interview: Gabriel Byrne on Tarantino, The Coens and All Things to All Men, by Jon Lyus, April 5, 2013. All Things to All Men arrives in UK cinemas this Friday and director George Isaac has assembled a fine cast to bring his murky tale of London crime to the big screen.

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. Byrne, best known as the sympathetic therapist Paul Weston in HBO’s series, shared his views on the importance of storytelling and why we’re more similar to the Viking culture than we may realize.

What do you think will draw viewers to Vikings?
It is a tremendously exciting story, and because it’s the History Channel, there will be many facts, rituals, battles and costumes that people will be intrigued to learn about. I also think people will begin to see the connection between ancient history and modern politics. And you recognize that maybe technology has changed, and maybe the way we live our lives has changed, but essentially human beings are not that different. We still make love and we make war, and we still have the need to conquer. We just do it with more effective weapons now.

Return to Interviews – Main