Five Things You Didn’t Know about Aidan Gillen

Aidan Gillen is an Irish actor. Primarily, people will recognize him as the character Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish on Game of Thrones, which is a role that has come to a conclusion with the Season 7 finale. However, it is important to note that Gillen had a successful acting career before Game of Thrones and by all indications will continue to have a successful acting career after it.

Here are five things that you may or may not have known about Aidan Gillen:

Started Out at the Dublin Youth Theatre

Gillen was born in an inner suburb of Dublin called Drumcondra. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that he got started in acting as a member of Dublin Youth Theatre. To be exact, he played the role of Nick Bottom in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Project Arts Theatre in Dublin before he made a choice to move out to London, which offered a wider range of opportunities for actors.

His Sister Is an Actress

Gillen’s sister is Fionnuala Murphy, who started acting in movies and TV shows in 1986 and has continued acting to the present time. Furthermore, it should be noted that Gillen’s brother John Paul Murphy is a playwright, though his other sister Patricia Murphy is a teacher. For those who are curious why Gillen uses Gillen as his family name while his siblings use Murphy as their family name, this is because Gillen took up his mother’s family name because there was another Aidan Murphy registered at the Actor’s Guild.

Broke Through with Queer as Folk

In 1999, Gillen broke through with a lead role as the successful executive Stuart Alan Jones on Channel 4’s Queer as Folk. Like its name suggests, the British TV show focused on the lives of Stuart Alan Jones and two other gay men, which met with some controversy because of the sensibilities of the times. Regardless, Queer as Folk met with a positive response, resulting in not just a second series but also a North American version that ran from 2000 to 2005.

Loves Bold, Ambitious Scripts

Before Game of Thrones, Gillen was known for playing Stuart Alan Jones on Queer as Folk as well as Tommy Carcetti on The Wire. He has expressed a fondness for both TV shows because of his love of bold scripts that are willing to take a chance instead of settling for following in some other TV show’s footsteps. In particular, he mentioned his fondness for the two TV show’s panorama nature as well as the sheer ambitiousness of their respective stories.

Will Be Playing James Joyce

Gillen’s role as Littlefinger might have come to a conclusion, but it seems probable that he will be facing no shortage of opportunities for the foreseeable future. For proof, look no further than the fact that he will be playing the famous Irish novelist James Joyce in an indie biopic called James and Lucia. Those who have never heard of James Joyce should know that he was a fascinating figure who contributed to a great deal to the modernist movement, with a particularly stand-out example being the stream-of-consciousness that showed up in his Ulysses.


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