It took a while for Aidan Gillen’s career to take off but when it did, it proved to be worth the wait. He is best known for playing the vicious and cunning Petyr Bealish aka Little finger in HBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, a credit that many argue that Aidan might struggle to surpass in his career. GOT might have brought him international recognition but Gillen was no novice to the industry in 2011 when he earned his GOT role. He started acting way back as a teen appearing in short films and bit parts in TV shows. With the push from his GOT fame, Gillen is on to greater things and his filmography is set to reach intimidating heights.
From The Dublin Youth Theatre Group To Landing Parts In Short Films
During his time as a scholar at St. Vincent’s C.B.S. in Glasnevin, Aidan Gillen took the first step in the pursuit of his acting career by becoming actively involved with the Dublin Youth Theatre Group. With the group, he got a lot of roles and was just perfect playing on set. The young thespian played the role of Nick Bottom in the group’s Project Arts Centre production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
At the age of 15, he made his first movie appearance as Young Guy 1 in the 1985 short movie, The Drip. That appearance got his acting career to a get-go and brought many opportunities his way as he subsequently played minor roles in several films and TV series including The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1987), The Courier (1988), The Play on One (1990), and An Ungentlemanly Act (1992).
Aidan Gillen’s first lead role did not come until Belfry (1993), and the came Circle of Friends (1995), Some Mother’s Son (1996), Gold in the Streets (1997), and Buddy Boy (1999). He, however, struggled to gain much fame with these roles until his role as Stuart Alan Jones in the television series, Queer as Folk in the late 1990s that pushed him to the limelight. For that role, Aidan Gillen was nominated as the Best Actor for the British Academy Television Award in the year 2000.
Notable Performances In Theater and Bigger Role In The Wire
The year 2000 was quite a busy year for Gillen who experienced a rise in his career. He starred as Frank in The Low Down, Jeff Obold in The Darkling, and Carver Doone in Lorna Doone, all in 2000. After making giant strides in several stage productions such as Mojo, The Tempest, and Platonov, Aidan Gillen once again proved his mettle in the 2003 theatrical production, The Caretaker, featuring alongside Kyle MacLachlan and Patrick Stewart.
His terrific portrayal of Harold Pinter in the aforementioned play received the plaudits of the critics and equally earned him the 2004 Tony Award nomination. While he was not fortunate to have won the Tony Award, Gillen’s acting skills displayed in the play caught the attention of late Bob Colesberry, the executive producer of the HBO series, The Wire which led him to secure the role of Tommy Carcetti in the series.
The Irish actor went on to feature in 35 episodes of the series, the highest of his career, from 2004 to 2008, and subsequently bagged the 2009 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) for his outstanding performance in the show. His other movie credits in the 2000s include Shanghai Knights (2003), Trouble With Sex (2005), Blackout (2008), and 12 Rounds (2009).
Game Of Thrones Ushered Him To A New Level of Stardom
In the year 2011, the indefatigable actor scored the role of Petyr Baelish alias Littlefinger in the American fantasy drama television series, Game Of Thrones (GOT). He effortlessly pulled off the character whose attribute was a vicious, manipulative, cunning wise man who would go the lengths to earn power and prestige in King’s Landing. He masterminded the blackmail of Tyrion Lannister, the downfall of Lord Eddard Stark, the demise of Joffrey Baratheon and Lord Jon Arryn, as well as the War of the Five Kings in the series.
Aidan Gillen was a recurring star in the fantasy drama series until his character was killed in 2017, precisely in the seventh season of the film. He received several positive reviews from critics and a massive cult following for his striking depiction of Littlefinger in 41 episodes of the show from 2011 to 2017. Apart from winning CinEuphoria Merit-Honorary Award for his performance in the series, he also received numerous award nominations including Gold Derby Award, 3 IFTA, and 3 Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.
Other Film And Television Credits
In between the period that Gillen played as a cast in GOT, he bagged a few other roles including playing as Barry Weiss in the horror film Wake Wood, as John Boy in the critically acclaimed Irish crime-drama, Love/Hate for which he was nominated for his third Irish Film & Television Award nomination. Other mega-hits movies and TV series the actor has starred in include The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015), Peaky Blinders (2017-2019), Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018), Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), and Project Blue Book (2019-2020).
Aidan Gillen continues to lengthen his filmography. He scored parts in Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, and James and Lucia. Other awards he has received in his acting career include 3 IFTA Awards, Edinburgh International Film Festival Award, Milano International Film Festival Award, and NAVGTR Award.
Apart from being a stage, film, and TV actor, Aidan Gillen is also a voice actor who has lent his voice in various animated characters. He was featured in the 2016 video game, Quantum Break.
He has additionally released several audiobooks including “Felicia’s Journey” (1995), “Irish Short Stories” (1998), “The Poetry of Ireland” (2010), and “The Art of War” (2015). With his successful endeavors, it is believed that the GOT star has a net worth of about $8 million.
A Peek Into His Failed Marriage With Olivia O’Flanagan
Aidan Gillen met his ex-wife, Olivia O’Flanagan in Dublin in 1997. At the start of their romance, the duo appeared inseparable. The lovebirds welcomed their first child, a daughter named Berry Murphy the same year they started dating. Following the birth of their daughter, they moved in together as a couple. Three years later, in 2000, Olivia gave birth to their son, Joe Murphy.
The couple finally sealed their love with a nuptial bond the following year, precisely on July 7th, 2001. However, what began like a match made in heaven later turned sour as Gillen filed for a divorce in 2013. The divorce was finalized the next year with no concrete reason publicly given for the split.
There is a dearth of information regarding Olivia O’Flanagan’s personal life before and after her marriage to Aidan. Assumptions are that she is now dedicated to raising her kids with Gillen.
After their divorce, Aidan in 2015 began a romantic relationship with Camille O’Sullivan, an Irish musician, vocalist, and actress. She is the former partner of Mike Scott, a Scottish singer-songwriter and musician who is the guitarist, songwriter, and lead vocalist of the rock band, The Waterboys. Camille shares a daughter, Lila-Elodie with the singer. Aidan and Camille have been spotted in arm at a couple of public events.