Gabriel Byrne: “I’ve Very, Very Few Actor Friends”

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During an appearance on Saturday night’s Tommy Tiernan Show on RTE One, Gabriel Byrne revealed that he has “very, very few actor friends,” citing it as one of the realities of working in the film industry.

"Any small bits of film that I've done, it's kind of like a hyper-reality," said Tiernan. "You are intimate with these people but you only met them two minutes ago. There's a great collegiate effort, and it's slightly hypnotising and addictive."

"You're absolutely right about that," Byrne replied. "That's why I think a lot of people are addicted to the business or the process of making films.

"To me, it's like being trapped in a lift with strangers and you have this camaraderie that's born out of the moment of the experience. And people trade things that they wouldn't normally trade. They're open and sometimes naked in a way that they wouldn't be otherwise because of that collegiate thing you're talking about."

"Then the lift comes to the ground and everybody goes their various ways," he continued. "And the only thing they have in common really is the experience of being in the lift.

"If you meet that person five years later and you say, 'Do you remember the time we were trapped in the lift?' and the guy will say, 'Oh God, that was awful. Yeah, well listen, anyway, I have to go'. There's nothing really to be pulled out of it.

"I've worked with some amazing, amazing actors from my time in The Riordans and Bracken right up to... I've worked with some of the greatest actors in the world and I have to say that I've very, very few actor friends. And I don't think that many actors have that many actor friends either because of that thing I'm talking about.”

Byrne’s appearance on the show precedes the actor’s return to Dublin for the stage adaptations of his best-selling memoir Walking with Ghosts which is set to make its world debut at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre later this month. 

Tickets are currently available for the show which will run from January 27 to February 6.

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