You can read the whole article from the Guardian about Brendan Gleeson who plays the main character in the film but it is quite long. I’ve nabbed a few important parts which are useful for RS students deciding on whether the media should be able for report on religious issues and if it can influence people’s beliefs.
Brendan Gleeson grew up in Ireland:
When he was 18, Gleeson went to France and was shocked by its secularism. “We’d come from a place where the church would be full for four or five masses on a Sunday morning to a place where nobody went. Well, maybe three or four elderly people.” Now, he thinks, Ireland is playing catchup, and the time is nigh to start imagining a post-religion society.
He discusses how he won’t discuss his own faith as it would affect how this religious film is seen by the audience:
The elephant in the room is Gleeson’s own faith, which is off-limits today. He won’t even give a verdict on the new Pope. Why not? “Anything I say at the moment will damage the film,” he says. Should he come out as a practising Catholic, he thinks people will read the film as a defence of the church; if he says he’s renounced religion, it’ll be seen as an attack.
At first, this feels slightly confounding. So central is the theme to the film, all subsequent questions feel leading, intentionally or not. He was certainly raised devout, the son of Pat and the “hugely religious” Frank. He attended Catholic school in Dublin and taught maths until he was 34, then quit to act full-time. Every opinion he ventures – about suicide, society, on-set behaviour – suggests a liberal socialism rooted in scripture and reconciled to reality. He fairly bleeds reason and wisdom.
Do people ever treat him like a priest? “No! Yes! I can’t say,” he laughs. Yet there is something of the perfect preacher about Gleeson. Today, he’s clad totally in black, clergy-style, layer upon layer of linen from his ankles to his collar.
Even from the trailer you can catch some useful facts for an exam answer: