Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson Didn’t Want to Spend Time Apart to Get Into Character for ‘Banshees of Inisherin’

While portraying a decaying friendship onscreen, the two Oscar-nominated actors are close friends away from the cameras

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson have each become Oscar-nominated actors through their portrayal of a decaying friendship in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” That’s a tad ironic considering how close the two men are away from the cameras.

Farrell and Gleeson discussed their long-lasting friendship with CBS’ “Sunday Morning,” a relationship that goes back to their first collaboration with “Inisherin” filmmaker Martin McDonagh on his acclaimed 2008 crime dramedy “In Bruges.” Farrell recalled how they first met at the Chelsea Hotel in New York about a year after he had turned sober and how Gleeson kept that in mind without him even saying it.

“He said, ‘Would you have a drink?’ … And he went to a minibar that looked like it hadn’t worked since the ’50s, and he opened it up and he pulled out two bottles of water and he went, ‘Still or sparkling?’ And just in that moment, I swear to God, it’s the sweetest thing,” Farrell told “Sunday Morning.”

“The simplicity of that gesture told me there is a man that’ll look after you. There’s a man that’ll take care of you. There’s a man that considers people,” he continued.

Farrell and Gleeson were so close that they wondered whether they would have to spend time apart to get into character for “The Banshees of Inisherin.” In it, Gleeson plays Colm, a musician living in a quiet Irish town who abruptly ends his lifelong relationship with happy-go-lucky farmer Padraic, played by Farrell. The shock of Colm’s decision sends Padraic on a downward spiral that only gets worse when Colm makes a violent ultimatum.

“We touched on it; I was a bit nervous about that,” Farrell said. “Just because I love the man, and I was nervous about, ‘Jeez, are we gonna have to give each other space?’ And then when we saw each other for the first time in a couple of years to start this, we just said, ‘Do you need a bit of … Are we going to do a little …’ And we looked at each other, ‘Well, achh, naah, I don’t need it.’”

Gleeson is glad it didn’t come to that, as he says he’s always enjoyed Farrell’s friendly company and generous spirit.

“You know, my father was a kind man, and I knew kind friends who were there for you. I don’t find it odd, but I knew immediately – I knew immediately with him,” he said. “So, that’s why the friendship lasted, because he’s somebody who considers people to an extraordinary degree.”

“The Banshees of Inisherin” is playing in select theaters and streaming on HBO Max. Watch more of Farrell and Gleeson’s interview with CBS in the clip above.