Edit
Aidan Gillen Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (10) | Personal Quotes (44)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 24 April 1968Dublin, Ireland
Birth NameAidan Murphy
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Aidan Gillen was born on April 24, 1968 in Dublin, Ireland as Aidan Murphy. He is an actor, known for Game of Thrones (2011), The Wire (2002) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). He has been married to Olivia O'Flanagan since July 7, 2001. They have two children.

Spouse (1)

Olivia O'Flanagan (7 July 2001 - present) (2 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Smirking expression

Trivia (10)

Brown haired Irish actor who got his big break in the controversial, highly acclaimed TV series Queer as Folk (1999).
Moved back to Ireland in 2009 with his wife and two kids, daughter Berry and son Joe. Now lives in Kerry, Ireland. [2011].
Mother is a nurse and his late father was an architect.
Brother of actress Fionnuala Murphy. His brother, John Paul Murphy, is a playwright, and his other sister, Patricia Murphy, is a teacher.
He uses the surname of Gillen because someone else was already registered as Aidan Murphy in the Actors' Guild. Gillen is his mother's surname.
Was nominated for Broadway's 2004 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) for a revival of Harold Pinter's "The Caretaker."
Educated at St. Vincent's C.B.S., Glasnevin.
Echoing his earlier work 14 years previous in John Michael McDonagh's short film "Second Death", Aiden Gillen repeats his exaggerated and threatening karate-moves in a similar bar scene toward Brendan Gleeson in Calvary - also by John Michael McDonagh.
The surname change, taking his mother's maiden name, came about because there was already an Aidan Murphy on Equity's books.
Appears in Agatha Christie: Poirot (1989) as the husband of Rachael Stirling. He stars in Game of Thrones (2011) where he plays an ally to Diana Rigg, the mother of Rachael Stirling.

Personal Quotes (44)

On his role as Carcetti in _The Wire (2002)_: We follow Carcetti's journey as a minor player in city politics to a major contender in a mayoral election. He was a young guy who was considered an upstart, who saw an opportunity to do something, maybe effect some change. We see him open up and develop a conscience. I hope he's not just coming across as smarm. I'd say he's flawed, but driven.
I'm always attracted to bold, risk-taking scripts. Both The Wire and Queer as Folk had a big scope. They were panoramas, telling ambitious stories about two cities, Baltimore and Manchester, for the first time. Some people said that Queer as Folk was sensationalist and had too much sex. The real mayor of Baltimore complained that The Wire was too bleak. But they're missing the point. Both David Simon and Russell T Davies obviously loved the worlds they were writing about.

In drama you can either pretend everything is OK, or you can show the world as it really is in the hope that it gets better.
People say The Wire's bleak, y'know, but I see it as a love letter to Baltimore, and it's one written in a very strange and complex way.
I have been in control of what I've been doing, of the career I've put together.
My own rapping skills are quite good, actually. You get this thing, I think it's called Songify or AutoRap, and you talk into them, and they auto-tune it and make it into a quite interesting musical number. And I got one where it builds it into a rap.
So-called reality TV, which dominates British channels, is destroying what made it cherishable to me and lots of others in the first place. I loved Alan Clarke, Ken Loach and Alan Bleasdale's work. In fact the first TV dramas I ever saw were 'Screen Twos' produced by David Thompson, who also produced a lot of Alan Clarke.
There's no way the writing staff of 'Game of Thrones' haven't read 'The Art of War.' There's definitely an influence on 'Game of Thrones' from this book in both a general way and on the character of Lord Baelish and his strategies.
I don't like DVD extras. No. Especially when they do things like put out alternative endings? I find all of that a little bizarre, because there should only be one ending. I don't like to be told, 'Oh, we could have had it this way,' for the director's cut.
Becoming a father has made my life a lot more interesting. It's like everything slows down because time goes slower, and you notice that you're actually awake for so many more hours. Your waking hours elongate because you're doing things at a child's pace.
It seems to me that most characters, in anything, are flawed in some way, just like most people. You look for the good in the flawed people and vice versa, and then try and make them appealing in some way.
Heroes (2006), Desperate Housewives (2004), The Sopranos (1999) - they're all very stylized. The Wire (2002) is much more rooted in realism and honesty. In American television, I can't think of anything I'd rather have been in because it has got something to say and that is the kind of thing I want to do.
I do consider how I spend my time off carefully because I've got two kids.
I like the Edinburgh Film Festival, and I've liked what I've experienced of Glasgow's Film Festival too.
I don't really differentiate between different genres: if there's a good part going, I'll go after it, and it's preferable to me if it's something I haven't done before.
I hate it when people tell you you're good when you know that you're not.
When I was a teenager, the actors I was really into were Mickey Rourke and Sean Penn. I saw Rumble Fish (1983) on my 16th birthday, and around the same time, it was The Falcon and the Snowman (1985) and Bad Boys' from 'Sean Penn (I).
There was a year between school and getting going as an actor when I basically just watched films. Video shops were the new thing, and there was a good one round the corner and me and my brother just watched everything, from the horror to the European art-house.
I've made a point of trying not to play the same part, and of moving between theatre and film and TV. The idea is that by the time you come back, you have been away for a year and people have forgotten you. If you like having time off, which I do, that's a good career strategy.
I've probably had my best time acting - or not acting, or trying to not act - on things like 'The Low Down' or 'Treacle Jr.' I'm happiest doing things like that. Not just because they're lead roles, but because there's more freedom in them.
I find still photographs make me quite self-conscious.
I suppose there are actors who are worried about their public image. But I've never had any trouble playing unpleasant characters. It is only a part. Which is why you do it -because you are interested in exploring something you never could or would be.
I'd quite like to do a musical. I'd probably have to develop that myself.
I didn't want to go to college or work in an office or have a nine-to-five job. I knew that quite clearly before I left school.
I do what I can, but I'll always give it a shot. You're not going to see me playing a Welsh character any time soon, not because I wouldn't love to. I went up to Wales once and read for a film with Rhys Ifans, and haven't been asked back since. We did have a nice time on the train on the way back.
I really like coming-of-age dramas. It's probably the most intense period in anyone's life, those years before you become an adult. Dramatically, there's so much to explore there. And it's nice to be around young talent coming through.
You're Ugly Too (2015) isn't a comedy, but it has a lightness of touch with a hard edge. But it's essentially a warm story tinged with a bit of melancholy in the great Irish tradition. I'm very proud of that film.
I have Googled myself, yeah, I think everybody has. I try not to make a habit of it - in fact I made a rule once never to Google myself, which made me happy.
I heat myself up over the fact that I am never going to be as good as I want to be.
I try to keep my integrity. I don't want to be in 'Hello!' or on 'Celebrity Big Brother.'
It's always more interesting to take on someone that's going to have hidden sides or a fatal flaw, because there's going to be more to play with - more conflict, internally or in and around them - but it's probably the thing of finding the positive in there.
To start, I wasn't really interested in acting at all, and I didn't make much impact. The first play I was in was on for five nights and I didn't show up for two of them and nobody noticed. But I stayed because that's where my friends were, and after a while I found myself wanting to inhabit other people's worlds and lives.
It's always a good idea to let the audience make up their own minds.
I can read people, and if the other person doesn't want to say anything, I'm fine with that. People say things when it's time to say them.
It's nice to have a few names. I use a few names myself. I use a few different surnames. I call myself James sometimes. I actually use my mother's name as a professional name. But if someone calls me Mr. Murphy or Mr. Gillen, I don't like that. I don't like being called 'mister,' and I don't like being called 'sir.'
It might take me an hour to get to feel at ease with somebody. I don't find it easy to go into a room full of 10 people and give it all away. In the pilot season in Los Angeles I've done that a couple of times.
Everything's borne out of human experience, of course - rejection, humiliation, poverty, whatever. People aren't born bad, no matter how harsh the circumstances. There is a person in there, and that person is not made of ice.
Because work takes up a lot of time, you have to choose your moments for really letting rip. I hang out with my friends and my family and I spend time with my kids when I'm not working. They don't see my being an actor as exotic. For them, it's just an everyday thing. Sometimes it's amusing to them and other times, embarrassing.
I've enjoyed working on the TV series that I've worked on, in particular something like The Wire (2002) where there was so much time to tell the story and develop a character. I learned from that that it's best not to lay all your cards on the table straight away.
I don't do a lot of reflecting. I'm usually about getting on with it.
I myself started out quite young; when you're working, professionally, even if you are in your teens, you just want to be treated the same as everybody else. You just want people to see you as an actor and not as a kid.
I hope it's not all I'll ever do, but I know I've played enigmatic characters. For me, the good characters are people who get places, are devious, are cunning and tricky and hard to pin down. Obviously, if you play one and you do an okay job of it, that'll be on people's minds.
The first time I played a killer, in the 1997 film 'Mojo,' I went to my local video shop and got out a video of real executions and a history of the Third Reich. The guy in the shop was giving me a look. I thought this would help, but I don't think it made any difference, and I don't want to see any more executions.
Every couple of years - no, that's every couple of weeks - I think I'm going to give up acting.
There's a lot of Game of Thrones (2011) stuff used in a lot of pastiches. I don't know if I've seen a Lego Game of Thrones (2011) yet, but there must be one. And there's an animated thing that's been going on for quite some time, and Littlefinger is a newsreader in it, and it's great.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page