Shooting a Star Wars movie has to be one of the more stressful things you can do in the industry, next to, say, doing press for a Marvel film or dancing in Suspiria. The scrutiny you’re put under, constantly watched and analyzed for the slightest hint of the future, has got to get to you. It’s certainly gotten to Domhnall Gleeson.
The star of the newest Star Wars trilogy, appearing as the villainous General Armitage Hux of the First Order in all three episodes, opened up about the ramifications of constantly worrying that you’re going to say the wrong thing and be the single source of a film’s spoilage. In the new episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Gleeson spoke about some of these fears
After explaining that he was terrified of forgetting his technobabble-filled lines on set, the actor described the odd state he's found himself in — one that other blockbuster franchises like the MCU have hoped to circumvent by not giving their actors complete or accurate scripts. “I made the terrible mistake of reading the script,” Gleeson said of his Star Wars screenplay, “so I know everything.”
“The nightmare is falling asleep on public transport. I think I said it to you before. The nightmare is you wake up on a plane and someone's dictating," he said. "You wake up and your mouth is shaping words, you wake up and you're like, 'Skywalker did this.' And then you realize you don't know how long you've been speaking, and there's like a kid filming, there's somebody writing down."
"And because you're in the air, you say 'We need to have a talk before we land, I can access my bank account’.” Bribery is the only logical response. It’s either a payoff or Gleeson getting kicked off of Episode IX. And even the most benign statements can snowball into headlines, as Gleeson found out when trying to promote a totally different movie.
“Last night at the The Little Stranger premiere, somebody asked me about Star Wars [Episode IX] and I used the word 'epic,’ ” the actor said. “And that became, the guy was telling me that basically the only thing that has been reported today from the screening of Little Stranger last night was the fact that 'idiot' Gleeson described Star Wars as 'epic’.” Star Wars? Epic? Who could’ve imagined? And that’s the strategy Gleeson was using, but apparently, people were still shocked.
“I thought, if there's a word you can use to describe every Star Wars movie, it's epic, so I think I'm in safe territory there,” he quipped. Oh, Domhnall, don’t you know that with Star Wars fanatics, nothing is ever safe? Thankfully the actors will be freed from the mixed blessing that these movies bestow soon enough.