Interviews, 2022

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

Gabriel Byrne Reflects on the End of His Broadway Show, and Tells T a Joke
by Sarah Bahr for The New York Times, December 2, 2022

About his play, he observes: “What you do is only a very small part of who you are,” he said. “Finding your identity through your work is a limited way of knowing yourself.” Instead, he said, he wanted to emphasize experiences people could relate to, themes that felt universal — for instance, that of searching for a sense of rootedness as an immigrant living away from his homeland.

“Every immigrant has a yearning to be at home,” he said. “But you can never be at home anywhere once you leave. You trade one place for another, but you don’t really belong in either.”

Of course, he said, dredging up his memories of abuse or recounting the death of a boyhood friend every night is hardly enjoyable. But it is a willingness to explore those uncomfortable places, he said, that gives the show its power. “By going there, you’re opening the door for somebody else in the audience to maybe go there, too,” he explained.

The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal
Published November 12, 2022

Gabriel’s segment begins at the 11:26 mark.

Originally from Dublin, Byrne premiered the show earlier this year at that city’s Gaiety Theatre and went on to play the Edinburgh International Festival, followed by a limited engagement in London’s West End. “For any kind of performer, playing in front of their home crowd is always difficult, but the welcoming, the reception was so warm. It was really touching,” he said. “Once we got over that hurdle, then we had to go to the West End, and we thought they’d be more reserved, but they weren’t. They were equally as warm.”

Byrne’s career as an actor, writer and director spans both stage and screen. He is a two-time Tony nominee for A Moon for the Misbegotten in 2000 and Long Day’s Journey Into Night in 2016. “One thing that I learned [doing Walking with Ghosts] is that nobody has an ordinary story. Every single person has an extraordinary story, and we all go on extraordinary journeys,” he said. “I like to sit in cafes and just watch people because the greatest entertainment of all is watching other people. I love watching and trying to fill in what their lives are and never knowing the answer.”

Gabriel Byrne Discusses His Life, Theater and What Makes the Irish Irish
by Joe Westerfield for Newsweek, November 12, 2022

Gabriel Byrne talked to Newsweek about how his Broadway play “Walking With Ghosts” came about, its themes, and Irish identity and how that informs his work and so much of Irish theater. An audio version of the interview is also available at the link above.

News 12 Extended Interview : Gabriel Byrne on Solo Broadway Performance Walking With Ghosts, October 28, 2022

Playbill Video: Walking With Ghosts on Broadway

Watch: Gabriel Byrne and Lonny Price Share What to Expect From Broadway’s Walking With Ghosts, by Roberto Araujo for Playbill, October 24, 2022

The solo play, adapted from two-time Tony nominee Byrne’s memoir, is currently playing the Music Box Theatre.

Times Radio/UK Video Interview

“The pursuit of fame in and of itself is a hollow ambition, and success doesn’t hang around too long.” Striving for the glamorous life of fame and Hollywood is a ‘hollow’ ambition, actor Gabriel Byrne says while reflecting on his career, brought to you by TimesRadio, September 9, 2022.

Edinburgh International Festival Interview: Gabriel Byrne
by David Pollock for The Scotsman, August 18, 2022

The acclaimed Irish actor on his new autobiographical play, Walking with Ghosts, and the importance of recapturing the past while being in the moment.

Gabriel Byrne: ‘Thank god the darkness of Church rule is over’
by Stephen McGinty for The Sunday Times, August 14, 2022

The stage adaptation is in the form of a solitary performance, but Byrne does not see it that way. “People say this is a one- man play and I say ‘No, it’s a two-hander, and the audience is the other actor. They are involved in it and listening and thinking about their own lives, and that’s exactly what I want people to do, not just think about their own lives [but to ask questions]: how did I treat my father and mother, could I have done something different with my life? What would I do if I was in that situation? That’s what I really want to achieve. Let people have a bit of a laugh and provoke with a stick the big themes in life — birth, death, love.”

The audience can be a bit like a dangerous dog. You can’t show any fear’: Actor Gabriel Byrne on stage fright, TikTok and genius of late, great Bernard Cribbins

By Stevie Gallacher for The Sunday Post, August 7, 2022

Gabriel Byrne sighs at the thought of being typecast as a moody heartthrob, albeit in a quite moody way.

Despite an aversion to being described as brooding, his brand of thoughtful intensity is a seam running through his long and acclaimed career: from his first role in Excalibur, to cult classics such as Miller’s Crossing and The Usual Suspects.

But, as he explains the ambitions he still harbours at 72, he seems keener for less tortured introspection and a little more slapstick.

“I suppose if I want to do anything from now on, it would be to do more comedy,” he says during a Zoom call from his US home in Maine.

Gabriel Byrne had to rewrite entire memoir after deleting it by accident
by Sandra Mallon for The Irish Mirror, July 25, 2022

He said: “I had literally written The End and put a full stop. And I think then I’d wanted to change one of the sentences around. Whatever I did, I managed to lose the whole thing.”

Gabriel Byrne: ‘Leonard Cohen has been a soundtrack to my life,’ by Steven MacKenzie for The Big Issue, July 23, 2022

Interviewer Steven MacKenzie used a quote from one of Leonard Cohen’s songs for each of the questions he posed to Gabriel in this interview.

SM: How have you tried, in your way, to be free? 

Gabriel: Well, I think there’s a lot in there. He doesn’t say I am free. The process is an ongoing battle. Because are we ever truly free? I think the only way you can be truly free is inside yourself. To not be seduced by the goals that people say you should have. Trying to free yourself of religion, economics, social expectation. That requires you looking deep into yourself to say, what ways can I do that? What do I need to get rid of in order to try to be free? It’s a great use of language. I have tried – in my way – to be free. You could take one song, and sit around with six people and get six different perspectives. That’s the beauty of a great work of art. It means one thing to one person and something to another person, but in general terms, it means the same thing to everybody.

Gabriel Byrne: ‘I was never not conscious of being Irish’, by Sean O’Hagan for The Guardian/The Observer, July 17, 2022

Gabriel Byrne: ‘Like a lot of people my sense of self is fragile’, by Dominic Maxwell for The Sunday Times (UK), July 16, 2022

Gabriel Byrne: ‘I’ve never seen an actress who isn’t vulnerable in a sex scene,’ by Dominic Cavendish for The Telegraph (UK), May 18, 2022

Gabriel Byrne: a man of integrity and truth, by Eoghan Lyng for Far Out Magazine (UK), May 18, 2022

Books for Breakfast, Dublin, Ireland / February 24, 2022

Gabriel Byrne talked to Books for Breakfast about his newly published memoir, Walking With Ghosts. In a lively and wide ranging conversation with hosts Enda Wyley and Peter Sirr, Gabriel spoke about his love of reading, his favourite writers, and the importance of memory for both acting and writing.

RTÉ Radio: Marty in the Morning, Dublin, Ireland / January 20, 2022

Gabriel Byrne chats to Marty about meeting Brendan Behan on the wrong bus, debating whether to ask a Beatle for an autograph and his upcoming show at the Gaiety Theatre, Walking with Ghosts.

The Tommy Tiernan Show, Dublin, Ireland / January 15, 2022

This interview made quite an impression on Irish viewers! Candid, thoughtful, insightful, funny as hell, and remarkably open comments from both made for a memorable interview. Gabriel is the first guest and his segment lasts @ 24 minutes.

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