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Domhnall Gleeson Scores Lead Role In Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s New HBO Show

‘Run’ will see the two ‘Star Wars’ actors team up for a new comedic thriller.
By  · Published on September 25th, 2018

There was a time when the idea of a movie star leading a TV show was seen as a downgrade, a sign that their career was slowing down. But in 2018 that couldn’t be further from the truth, with series like Sharp ObjectsTrue Detective, and Maniac starring some of Hollywood’s top names. To the point where even big-screen veterans Meryl Streep and Anthony Hopkins are getting in on the action, in Big Little Lies and Westworld respectively.

And Deadline now reports that Domhnall Gleeson is the latest to eye up a role on a prestige show. Gleeson will team up with fellow Star Wars star and Killing Eve creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge for a new HBO pilot titled Run. The project is described as a “romantic comedic thriller,” which… sounds like quite a mouthful. But few are better equipped to juggle multiple tones and genres like Waller-Bridge and regular collaborator Vicky Jones, who wrote the pilot.

Also included in the report is a synopsis, which states the following:

Run‘ centers on Ruby, a woman living a humdrum existence who one day gets a text inviting her to fulfill a youthful pact, promising true love and self-reinvention, by stepping out of her life to take a journey with her oldest flame.

As of yet, there’s no word on who’s playing Ruby, but we can tell you that Gleeson will play a character called Billy Johnson. Johnson is described as a “successful life guru from a wealthy Irish family” with “the gift of gab,” who’s equal parts charismatic and insecure. Which sounds like a perfect fit for Gleeson’s sensibilities, combining the awkwardness of his roles in Frank and Ex Machina with the confidence of his character in American Made.

Despite this being his first major television role, Gleeson is no stranger to the small screen, having starred in the Black Mirror episode “Be Right Back” in his pre-Star Wars days and getting a small role in the British sitcom Catastrophe just last year.

And on the movie side, the Irish actor was most recently seen in Lenny Abrahamson’s gothic drama The Little Stranger. A film that’s currently dividing opinions across the board, with our own review calling the film “a confused work that never settles on what it’s meant to be.” This year has been a surprisingly quiet one for the prolific actor, by his standards anyway.

Gleeson has still found time for roles in Netflix’s A Futile and Stupid Gesture and Peter Rabbit, however, with The Kitchen, the directorial debut from Straight Outta Compton co-writer Andrea Berloff, still to come. This off the back of his second appearance in the Star Wars franchise, with his delightfully wicked General Hux stealing scenes in The Last Jedi. He’s also currently shooting the untitled Star Wars: Episode IX with The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams.

Waller-Bridge also dabbled in the Star Wars series herself this year, playing droids rights activist L3-37 in Solo. And despite the script giving her character a less than satisfying ending, she did a terrific job doing both the mo-cap and voice work for the droid. She may be best known currently, however, for being the showrunner of Killing Eve‘s acclaimed first season, which earned Sandra Oh her first Emmy nomination. Despite stepping down from that position due to commitments to other projects like Fleabag‘s second season, she will still be involved in a smaller capacity in Season 2.

The actor/writer/producer is one of the most exciting voices currently working in television, able to combine darkness with a sharp wit, which makes Run a very exciting prospect indeed. And with an extremely talented, versatile lead actor already in place, we can’t wait to see how this one works out.

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