Writer/director John Michael McDonagh is re-teaming with Brendan Gleeson, his lead actor in the 2011 film The Guard, for the Sundance premiere Calvary. This time Gleeson, who played an unorthodox cop in McDonagh’s last movie, is putting on the priest’s clerical collar for the dark comedy about the complicated life of a country priest.
Gleeson’s priest receives a death threat from the first scene of the movie, and while there is humor running through the piece, the emotional assault wore on the veteran actor through the 29-day shoot. “I found it very difficult emotionally,” he said. “This has been a very intense shoot – a short, intense shoot. It’s been remorseless, absorbing all that contempt and hate and poison.”
Check out a bit of Gleeson’s work below. The following scene is between the local priest Brendan Gleeson and the town’s butcher, played by Chris O’Dowd. In it, Gleeson’s priest goes into the butcher shop to confront O’Dowd’s local butcher about sharing his wife with another man.
The film debuts Sunday, Jan. 19, in the Premiere section of the festival.