Interviews, 2020

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

The book. The book. The book! Walking With Ghosts was a resounding success and the interviews below offer insights into Gabriel’s writing process, his hopes for the book, and the response of readers and interviewers alike. What a gift this book is. Read it now!

The Gloss

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

From the interview:

There is restraint at play in Walking with Ghosts; Byrne doesn’t dish the dirt on anyone but himself.

“I left out so much. I’ve worked with many great directors and actors so I knew all the stories – but I couldn’t repeat those stories because to me it would feel like a form of betrayal. People are vulnerable on a film set … so I chose not to write that.” His own modesty is disarming. I liked this exchange where tells his father: “Remember when I asked you to come and see me in my first play? And you asked how much it was to get in? I told you five quid and you said, ‘Sure, I can see you at home for nothing’”.

The Irish Sun

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

Screenshot of Gabriel Byrne as Papa Reilly in Into the West, 1992.

To Be Irish at Christmas

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

Little Museum of Dublin

Gabriel, from his home in Maine, talks with Sarah Costigan and Trevor White at The Little Museum of Dublin, December 19, 2020.

Gabriel speaks about his new book, Walking With Ghosts, and reads selected extracts from this highly acclaimed memoir. Conversation will move from Gabriel’s childhood in Dublin to his time in Hollywood and various adventures in the screen trade.

WFF20 Talent Talk with Gabriel Byrne

Gabriel talks with host Johanna Schneller about his career and his new film Death of a Ladies’ Man at the 2020 Virtual Whistler Film Festival in British Columbia, Canada, December 8, 2020.

Podcast: The Stand with Eamon Dunphy

Author and actor Gabriel Byrne and Eamon talk about Gabriel’s memoir, “Walking with Ghosts,” first published in the Autumn of 2020. This interview about Gabriel’s memoir was recorded in December 2020. Next week Gabriel Byrne returns to the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin for the world premiere of Walking with Ghosts, adapted for theatre from this best-selling memoir.

First posted on 3rd December 2020.

Dingle Literary Festival, Dingle, Ireland

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 Mia Colleran on November 20, 2020. Mia is an Irish book critic and an award-winning writer and bookseller.

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.

Click the “Watch Replay” green button in the image below to access the video capture of the event.

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Podcast: The Last Word with Matt Cooper

Gabriel Byrne: How Acting In The Riordans Prepared Me For Hollywood Fame. podcast on The Last Word with Matt Cooper, November 16, 2020

Gabriel Byrne is one of the most successful Irish actors of stage, television and movies. The Dublin native has starred in movies such as The Usual Suspects, Hereditary, and Miller’s Crossing. He has now written his memoir titled Walking With Ghosts, reflecting on his childhood growing up in Dublin and his journey to fame. He spoke with Matt Cooper on The Last Word.

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 in print only, no audio)

The Herald, Scotland

Gabriel Byrne on abuse, alcoholism and his new memoir. By Teddy Jamieson for The Herald, Scotland, November 15, 2020.

This is a lengthy, in-depth, and wide-ranging print interview that is engaging and illuminating, and also fun!

From the interview:

Walking with Ghosts, it should be said, holds a lot of pain in its pages. When I ask him why he wanted to write it, he talks about how he wanted to describe the world he came from and how it shaped him.

More than that, though, he adds, he wanted others who had suffered what he had suffered or who were struggling with issues of addiction in the way that he had, to know there was a way out.

“So many people feel powerless and hopeless, and one of the reasons I wrote this book was because there are so many people who live in silence about these issues. But I have a little bit of a platform. I say, ‘Look, I’ll tell you my story and maybe that will help you to see that if another person can do it maybe I can do it too.’ That’s really what I want to achieve by telling those stories. I have no real interest in being sensational or anything.”

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, November 15, 2020

BBC Radio 4 Saturday Live

Gabriel Byrne: Every life is extraordinary. Gabriel Byrne on listening, and why for him sometimes there is no resolution to trauma. Podcast from 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

The Late Late Show in Dublin

Gabriel Byrne, Zooming in from Maine, USA, joins host Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show. Video excerpt only, November 13, 2020.

Irish actor Gabriel Byrne will join Ryan to chat about his brand new revealing autobiography. He will explain why, at the age of 70, he decided to get around to writing his book that has lifted the lid on many private aspects of his life.

The Verb on BBC Radio 3

Audio interview hosted by Ian McMillan on BBC Sounds, 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?

Gabriel Byrne is an award-winning actor and writer. His new memoir ‘Walking with Ghosts’ starts emphatically and lyrically with the landscape of his childhood home in Ireland and the great pleasure he took in it as a child. Gabriel also talks about his relationship with the earth – the experience of feeling the ground shift during an earthquake in Los Angeles and about the ‘photograph he carries in his heart’ – a memory of a ploughman working the land.

The Guardian Interview – print

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

Happy Birthday, Gabriel!

To celebrate Gabriel’s milestone birthday in May, two print 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, 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’ by Alex Fletcher for, 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, March 22, 2020 (behind a pay wall)

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