Brendan Gleeson talks about the success of Martin McDonagh's film In Bruges.

The last week has been an exciting one for Brendan Gleeson. Martin McDonagh’s film ‘In Bruges’ won a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award for Best Original Screenplay. Brendan Gleeson plays a hitman hiding out in Bruges with Ray, played by Colin Farrell.  

Working with Martin McDonagh, who also directed the movie and fellow Dublin actor Colin Farrell was special. 

We sat in a room with Martin for about two weeks rehearsing, which was almost the best part of the process, just teasing out what was to be found in it.

Originally the screenplay had the two hitmen as cockneys but an Irish element emerged from the script and they went with that,

The language wasn’t really all that different, I found I could read it in my own voice and it didn’t seem very strange.

Bruges is a character in its own right in the film, as the combination of history, picturesque architecture and nostalgic atmosphere is the last setting you expect for a black comedy about two criminals. Brendan Gleeson enjoyed the city, and says that the bad press it gets is from Colin Farrell’s character in the film.

I think the hell that Colin’s character is caught in is in his own head, and Bruges just happens to get the brunt of it.

Bruges has seen benefits since the release of the film with the more tourists coming to visit the city. 

You need to bring your own fun with you, and from what I understand a lot of people have been doing that.

This episode of ‘The Late Late Show’ was broadcast on 13 February 2009.  The presenter is Pat Kenny.