Brendan Gleeson has been a revered Irish stage and film former statesman for some time now, receiving accolades for his roles in the Harry Potter, Braveheart, Michael Collins, Troy, Into the Storm and The Comey Rule films, among others.
And the apples don’t fall far from the tree.
In recent years, Brendan’s two acting sons, Domhnall and Brian, have also emerged from the unlikely backdrop of the Malahide suburb to solidify the Gleesons’ position as Ireland’s premier acting family.
The oldest of the siblings, Domhnall has appeared in several notable films, memorable chewing the scenery as General Hux in the Star Wars sequels and nearly surpassing Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant.
Meanwhile, Domhnall’s younger brother Brian (their remaining siblings Fergus and Rúairí have stayed away from acting) has appeared in Rebellion, Stonemouth, Assassin’s Creed, Hellboy, Peaky Blinders and The Bisexual.
And now the two siblings have teamed up to co-write (with Michael Moloney) and star in this new six-part comedy, produced by Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford.
“We’re excited to be working with MJ (director MJ Delaney), Sharon and Clelia on this, our first and (we’ve been told) last TV series,” the writers trio said.
Horgan added, “Working with the Gleeson Brothers is like living in a very funny existential dream landscape. I laughed so much while piloting that it got boring.
Set in an idyllic Dublin suburb, Frank of Ireland is the story of a man’s unfortunate search for respect, as he struggles to grow and pull himself together.
Frank Marron (played by Brian) is a 32-year-old disaster; a misanthropic and narcissistic fantasy convinced that the world owes it something. But nonetheless, he is our comedy hero.
Frank is single, still lives at home with his mother, Mary (Pom Boyd), and cannot drive. He’s a self-proclaimed musician, but he hasn’t written a song or performed in concert in years. His ex-girlfriend Aine (Sarah Greene) just found a new boyfriend, and although they split six years ago, Frank finds it a bit difficult.
Fortunately, Frank has a loyal best friend, Doofus (Domhnall) whose full-time job is to clean up the debris left in Frank’s wake. As he reaches the “ historic ” age of 33, his family forces him to face hard truths and make big changes.
In tonight’s opening episode, Frank and Doofus head to Aine’s grandmother’s wake, where they find Aine with Peter-Brian (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor), doctor and MMA expert (arts mixed martial arts). Feeling threatened by Peter-Brian, Frank decides he’s going to learn MMA himself, and he also gets a “ gig ” while playing at the funeral.
Will Frank master MMA, or continue to confuse it with MDMA? And will the “concert” be a success and impress Aine – or will it end in disaster?
Frank of Ireland is a major coup for Channel 4, which secured the rights to premiere tonight a day before it aired on Amazon Prime.
Broadcaster Comedy Manager Fiona McDermott says, “We are delighted to welcome Domhnall and Brian to Channel 4 for their comedy debut.
“They are talented in a way that Frank and his wildest dreams could only hope to emulate.”
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