EXCLUSIVE: Brendan Gleeson tells us about the “intimidating” task of SNL

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell Pic: Saturday Night Live

Brendan Gleeson both surprised and delighted fans when it was announced that he would be hosting the American late-night comedy show, Saturday Night Live.

And he absolutely smashed it with his witty banter, hilarious acting skills and his musical skills. Yes, he turned his opening monologue into a beautiful tune before his good pal Colin Farrell arrived on set to gatecrash!

However, in a chat with VIP Magazine, Brendan confessed that it was “very intimidating”.

We caught up with the Dublin man when he was in Ireland promoting his new film, The Banshees of Inisherin alongside his co-star and good pal Colin Farrell. And while the film is incredible, we had to know all about SNL!

Brendan Gleeson Pic: Andres Poveda

“It was very intimidating, I didn’t sleep a lot and you need to because it’s exhausting. You have to push through it,” he admits as we chat in a Dublin hotel.

“I said I’d do it if Colin [Farrell] and Martin [McDonagh] would be part of it. Martin helped with my monologue, he was out of his comfort zone too! But you know him, he’s just so wicked!”

It was the monologue, he confesses that he found most daunting: “I’m not a stand-up and there’s a skill to that. So I said we’ll play a tune. They worked around that but it’s still very exposing.”

However, it wasn’t long before he was in his element: “But the actual thing reminded me of being back on stage in the 80s. It’s very theatrical. It’s like the old Olympia, there are loads of lights and you’re running around backstage. This lunatic of a woman named Donna takes you by the wrist, it’s like Schwaznegger has you by the arm, she’s really strong.

“She’s booting it to get you into a new costume and change your wig, jumping over cables and minding your head. You just realise you’ve dodged death! It was a circus,” he laughs.

Thankfully he tells us, his nerves washed away when he got out on stage: “It was remarkably reassuring once I got back there. I was like, ‘Guys this is kind of fun!’ It’s much more fun than you could ever imagine. It’s all for one and one for all.”

Our digital editor Bronwyn O’Neill with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson

The Banshees of Inisherin is out in cinemas on October 21st

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