Best Leading Irish Men 8 years ago

Best Leading Irish Men

Over the years Irish men have become unlikely sex symbols to folk across the water there in Hollywood. We say unlikely because if anyone ever boasted about that down the pub, movie star or not, they'd be heckled endlessly... and rightly so.

Now there's always been a difference between a leading man and a character actor. Traditionally at least, leading men are good-looking swines who swam in a sea of beautiful women as soon as they passed puberty. Character actors generally hit puberty late, and were possibly mocked endlessly over it growing up as a result - see Brad Pitt as an example of the former, Steve Buscemi the latter.

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That has all changed, though and actors known for their looks want to be taken seriously and those who always played the best pal now want to be the romantic lead. Evolution is a wonderful thing people.

Anyway, here are some superb Irish actors who often dabble in both worlds.

Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson

Had an ostensibly strange change of direction in his career when he became an action movie star after the phenomenal success of Taken. Before that, and since, he's proven himself to be a leading man of staggering charisma and presence.

He's also Michael bleedin' Collins and a damn versatile actor.

Michael Fassbender

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Michael Fassbender

Although born in Germany, the Kerry raised Thespian is very much an Irishman... even when he's being nominated for "Best British Actor" at awards ceremonies that shall remain nameless.  Not afraid to take risks, his body of work is superb; from the edgy Shame all the way to X-Men: First Class, his performances are always top drawer and he's an export we should be very proud of.

Cillian Murphy

Cillian Murphy

An extremely unique looking individual, Murphy has the kind of talent that allows him to segue from conventional leading man to quirky characters in offbeat productions. A wonderful actor, his work in The Wind That Shakes The Barely is one of the finest Irish performances in recent memory.

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Brendan Gleeson

Brendan Gleeson

Almost seen as The Godfather of Irish acting, Gleeson came into the game late (or at least found fame late) with his amazing turn in The General. He's since established himself as the go-to guy for the Hollywood elite with his Dark Blue helmer Ron Shelton describing him as "the best actor working today." When you see him give incredibly organic and sporadically hilarious performances in the likes of In Bruges and The Guard, it's hard to disagree.

Colin Farrell

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Colin Farrell

Farrell personified the words "overnight success". His good looks, talent and outspoken manner made him a beacon for gossip mags and his hefty pay cheques a target for the bitter when he first exploded onto the scene after Tigerland. Actually a very fine actor, he's at his best when playing comedic as opposed to heroic roles; but his layered, brave work in the thriller Phone Booth is still probably his best performance to date. There's more to come from Farrell...

Jameson will be screening Intermission as their next infamous Cult Film Club night, to be in with a chance to win tickets simply register on their blog here.

Brought to you by the Jameson Cult Film Club

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Jameson Cult Film Club

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