His face visibly lights up when asked about his new endeavour, The Secret of Kells, an animated movie telling the story of 12-year-old boy, also called Brendan, who must fight Vikings and a serpent to find a crystal and complete the legendary Book of Kells. Gleeson provides the voice of Abbot Cellach, Brendan's strict uncle.
"It's an exquisite cinematic experience. There's nothing overly Irish about it. It's about beautiful things, it's about fear and getting over fear, guarding the things that are beautiful and worth it, and not being unafraid to go and find it, to go and do it."
The film has its educational merits, too, I suggest. "Don't use that word, you're not allowed to use that word," Gleeson counteracts with a smirk, "because if people think it's a history lesson, they're not going to go. They'll say, 'Ah, I might see it on DVD'. It's to be seen in a cinema. Go and get your head blown away by it."