“I Went Down,” the new dark comedy about low-rent Dublin gangsters, is the highest-grossing Irish indie film ever. Just released in the U.S., the flick has received winning reviews: EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum called it “rollicking, original, visually fresh” and graded it A-. The entire go-for-brogue movie cost less than Mel Gibson’s pocket money, but Hollywood casting directors say its lead, Brendan Gleeson, is an actor worth the proverbial million bucks. His next film, “The General,” won him rave reviews at Cannes (and a Best Director award for John Boorman).
Gleeson, 43, may not be a household name yet, but he’s already appeared in such Hollywood hits as the 1995 epic “Braveheart.” Speaking with EW Online at a Manhattan pub, Gleeson reminisced about that role: “Imagine coming over a hill and seeing 2,000 guys all dressed up to kill. You just say, ‘This doesn’t happen every day.’… I remember watching ‘Ben Hur’ when I was young, and then suddenly there I was, feeling like I’m on the set of it.”