Batman Begins (2005)
Reign of Fire (2002)
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Gleeson was born in Cork, Ireland, and raised in Ranelagh, Dublin, where he attended Gonzaga College. He has two older sisters, Rachel and Emma, who are also involved in Irish theatre. He attended drama classes with them when he was young, and also performed in youth theatre.
Gleeson began acting at the age of 8, in the Independent Theatre Workshop. His first roles were in films such as Reign of Fire (2002), Batman Begins (2005), Shrooms (2007), and A Shine of Rainbows (2009). In 2010, he appeared in a leading role in All Good Children. The reviewer for Variety magazine considered Gleeson ‘the pic’s big discovery’.
Gleeson starred as Joffrey Baratheon in the HBO series Game of Thrones. He cites Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of Commodus in Gladiator (2000) as an influence on his performance.
In 2012, Gleeson indicated an intention to retire from acting to pursue an academic career once his work on Game of Thrones was finished. In 2014, Gleeson retired from acting after concluding his work in Game of Thrones. In an interview, he stated that while he had previously been interested in pursuing academia, he had since ‘gone off that idea.’
In 2019, Gleeson made two public appearances. In June, he was featured in the musical-comedy program AMUSICAL at the Kilkenny Cat Laughs comedy festival in Kilkenny, Ireland with comedians Eleanor Tiernan and Alison Spittle. In August, he made a surprise appearance at Over the Top Wrestling’s Trinity Brawl 2 event in Dublin where he played the face, aptly called ‘TV’s Jack Gleeson,’ opposite Irish wrestler J Money.
In March 2020, it was announced Gleeson would return to acting, having been cast in Sara Pascoe’s new series Out Of Her Mind.