At the Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) this year Gleeson caused a stir when he and actor friend Francois Civil both decided to pretend they were Michael Fassbender, flashing megawatt smiles (with as many teeth as they could manage) at the rows of photographers.
“Oh yeah, Michael and his hundred tooth smile!” laughs Gleeson. “You know what that was? That’s coming from a place of pure love and admiration, you know what I mean?
“It was the IFTAs and he wasn’t able to be there and we were really sad about it. It was one of those things where we said we’re not as important as Michael, but maybe if we pretend to be him people will take our picture. And it worked!”
Gleeson works alongside Fassbender in the upcoming 'Frank,' the story of a young musician who gets involved with a rock band led by the most eccentric singer ever (played by Fassbender in a huge plastic head), with a script by the celebrated writer Jon Ronson and directed by Dubliner Lenny Abrahamson.
“It’s one of those great things where I got to work with a fantastic director and actors that I have admired for years,” says Gleeson.
“You set them up in your head so high that really they can only fail. I’ve just been really lucky in the last few years that not only have I met them, but they surpassed my expectations.”
Gleeson has had a hit of his own behind the camera as well as in front of it. His 2012 short film Noreen, starring his father Brendan as a rural Irish cop, won plaudits for the tale of two clueless Irish policemen who manage to turn an open and shut case into a bloodbath.
With the success of that will he ever tempted to write his own features?
“At the moment I have more of a roll going with the acting thing. I’m getting to work with pretty astonishing people I never dreamed I’d get to work with,” he says.
“I just want to keep that going. Maybe someday I’ll get to that, but right now I’m keeping busy.”
'Shadow Dancer' opens May 31 in New York and Los Angeles.
"Shadow Dancer" trailer:
Trailer for "About Time":