Aidan Gillen

Actor
A human chameleon with a deft touch at playing charismatic heels, Aidan Gillen became an intrinsic player to some of the most groundbreaking television shows of the 1990s and 2000s, including such prestige fare as the ... Read more »
Born: 04/23/1968 in Dublin, IE

Filmography

Actor (39)

Game of Thrones 2010 - 2016 (TV Show)

Actor

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials 2015 (Movie)

Janson (Actor)

You're Ugly Too 2015 (Movie)

Will (Actor)

Blue Potato 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Calvary 2014 (Movie)

Dr. Frank Harte (Actor)

Game of Thrones-Imax 2014 (Movie)

Littlefinger (Actor)

Sing Street 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Mister John 2013 (Movie)

Gerry Devine (Actor)

Shadow Dancer 2013 (Movie)

Gerry (Actor)

Beneath The Harvest Sky 2012 (Movie)

Clayton (Actor)

The Dark Knight Rises 2012 (Movie)

CIA Op (Actor)

Thorne 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Actor

Blitz 2011 (Movie)

Weiss (Actor)

Wake Wood 2011 (Movie)

Patrick (Actor)

12 Rounds 2009 (Movie)

Miles Jackson (Actor)

Blackout 2008 (Movie)

Karl (Actor)

The Wire 1999 - 2000, 2004 - 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Wire Odyssey 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

The Wire: The Last Word 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Law & Order: Trial by Jury 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Five Little Pigs 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Shanghai Knights 2003 (Movie)

Rathbone (Actor)

My Kingdom 2002 (Movie)

Barry Puttnam (Actor)

Lorna Doone 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The Low Down 2001 (Movie)

Frank (Actor)

Buddy Boy 2000 (Movie)

Francis (Actor)

Queer as Folk (UK) 1999 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Mojo 1998 (Movie)

Baby (Actor)

Gold In the Streets 1997 (Movie)

Paddy (Actor)

Some Mother's Son 1996 (Movie)

Gerard Quigley (Actor)

Circle of Friends 1995 (Movie)

Aidan (Actor)

Safe 1993 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Courier 1988 (Movie)

Prostitute Boy (Actor)

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne 1987 (Movie)

Youth at Liquor Store (Actor)

Lorna Doone (Movie)

Carver Doone (Actor)

The Darkling (TV Show)

Actor

The Final Curtain (TV Show)

Actor

The Queen's Sister (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

A human chameleon with a deft touch at playing charismatic heels, Aidan Gillen became an intrinsic player to some of the most groundbreaking television shows of the 1990s and 2000s, including such prestige fare as the U. K.'s "Queer as Folk" (Channel 4, 1999-2000) and HBO's "The Wire" (2002-08) and "Game of Thrones" (2011- ). In the early 1990s, the Irish-born Gillen established a footprint in the U.K. theater scene and a run of well-regarded independent films like "Circle of Friends" (1995), "Some Mother's Son" (1996), "Mojo" (1997) and "Buddy Boy" (1999). In 1999, he landed one of the leads on the daring British series "Queer as Folk," one of the first humanizing looks at gay culture in television history. In 2003, Gillen's Broadway debut in Harold Pinter's "The Caretaker" earned him a Tony nomination, setting him up for a memorable splash on U.S. television as Mayor Tommy Carcetti on HBO's magnum opus urban drama "The Wire." Gillen carved a niche playing textured, scene-stealing villains in projects such as "Lorna Doone" (BBC, 2000), "The Final Curtain" (2002), "Shanghai Knights" (2003), "Blackout" (2008), "Freefall" (BBC, 2009) and "Blitz" (2011), capped deftly by his return home to play a mob boss in the Irish drama "Love/Hate" (RTE, 2010-11) and the Machiavellian counselor Littlefinger on "Game of Thrones." Boasting a CV "teeming with reptiles, chancers and scumbags," as the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper summarized, Gillen continues to build an élan as one of Ireland's best thespian imports.

EDUCATION

Dublin Youth Theatre

Dublin

St. Vincent's C.B.S.

Dublin

Milestones

2012

Cast as a CIA Agent in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises"

2011

Portrayed the ambitious Lord Petyr Baelish in HBO's "Game of Thrones"

2009

Played an internationally known terrorist in Renny Harlin's "12 Rounds"

2007

Cast as Teach in the Dublin Gate Theatre production of David Mamet's "American Buffalo"

2004

Played Baltimore politician Tommy Carcetti in the HBO series "The Wire"

2003

Made Broadway debut in Harold Pinter's "The Caretaker"; earned a Tony nomination

2001

Played an aimless, self-absorbed man in "The Low Down"

2001

Co-starred with Peter O'Toole in "The Final Curtain"

2000

Portrayed Carver in the British TV adaptation of "Lorna Doone"

2000

Returned to the London stage as Ariel in the Alameida Theater production of "The Tempest"

2000

Reprised role of Stuart in the special two-hour finale "Queer as Folk 2"

1999

Starred as the highly sexually active Stuart on the popular British series "Queer as Folk" (Channel 4)

1997

Co-starred in the Irish immigrant tale "Gold in the Streets"

1996

Played a jailed IRA supporter who takes part in a hunger strike in "Some Mother's Son"

1995

Played supporting role in Pat O'Connor's "Circle of Friends"

1993

Reprised role of Tony in the BBC production of "Handful of Stars"

1993

Played a homeless youth in Antonia Bird's "Safe" (BBC)

1988

Played Tony in "Handful of Stars" at London's Bush Theatre

1987

Landed cameo roles in "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne" and "The Courier" (billed as Aidan Murphy)

1987

Moved to London at age 19 to pursue an acting career

Took the stage name of Aidan Gillen

Bonus Trivia

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Gillen changed his surname from Murphy because there was already an Aidan Murphy in the Actor's Guild. Gillen was his mother's maiden name.

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Dublin native Gillen (who played an imprisoned Irish Republican Army supporter on a hunger strike, demanding recognition as a political prisoner in "Some Mother's Son") recalled the real-life 1981 prisoner protest: "I remember the time very vividly. You couldn't NOT think about that hunger strike when it was going on." – quoted in Vanity Fair, October 1996

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"Every couple of years – no, that's every couple of weeks – I think I'm going to give up acting. I heat myself up over the fact that I am never going to be as good as I want to be. I hate it when people tell you you're good when you know that you're not." – Gillen quoted in The Guardian, Dec. 6, 2000

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"The reason I get in a tortured state about acting is because sometimes I don't think I feel enough anguish about it. I want to care. I don't want to be apathetic. I want to move people. I'm not good at smiling. I'm not saying that I'm not interested in being famous but I'm more interested in being good, and I never feel that I am good enough." – Gillen quoted in The Guardian, Dec. 6, 2000

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