Oscar-nominated actress Jessie Buckley
Jessie Buckley in 'The Lost Daughter'
Ciarán Hinds
Nominated for his role in 'Belfast'
The green part of Hollywood
Talent through the generations
Saoirse Ronan
Golden Globe for 'Lady Bird'
Saoirse Ronan: multi-talented
Brendan Gleeson
Acting in the Gleeson family
Known for 'In Bruges' and Harry Potter
Colin Farrell
An epic actor
Farrell and Gleeson in Bruges
Ruth Negga
Ruth Negga in 'Passing'
A great voice
Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy in 'Peaky Blinders'
Not just an actor
Caitriona Balfe
A former model
Gabriel Byrne
The talented Mr. Byrne
Michael Fassbender
Petrolhead
Honourable mentions
Rising talent: Paul Mescal
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Oscar-nominated actress Jessie Buckley

She was born in Killarney, Ireland in 1989 and broke through as a singer and actress on the 2008 talent show 'I'd Do Anything.' Fourteen years later, Jessie Buckley is nominated for an Academy Award.

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Jessie Buckley in 'The Lost Daughter'

Jessie Buckley got her Oscar nomination in the category 'Best Supporting Actress' for her role in the film 'The Lost Daughter.' Directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, she plays a troubled young mother.

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Ciarán Hinds

Another Irish talent nominated for an Oscar is Ciarán Hinds. Born in Belfast in 1953, he's known for HBO series 'Rome' (Gaius Julius Ceasar), 'Game of Thrones' (Mance Rayder), and the film 'Justice League' (Steppenwolf).

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Nominated for his role in 'Belfast'

Hinds got his Oscar nomination for the 2021 movie 'Belfast,' written and directed by Kenneth Branagh. He was also nominated for a BAFTA and Golden Globe award for this supporting role.

(In the photo, from left to right, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Jude Hill and Judi Dench in 'Belfast')

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The green part of Hollywood

Ever since the golden age of Hollywood, Irish actors have been lighting up the silver screen. The original Jane in the first Tarzan movie, for example, was born in Ireland, and more recently we have seen Irish talent in big modern blockbusters.

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Talent through the generations

Actors like Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan have been leading the way for a long time, and there are others who have picked up the baton.

Here are some of the best Irish actors in Hollywood.

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Saoirse Ronan

Her name is the Irish word for 'freedom', and she is often seen teaching TV presenters around the world how to pronounce it. Though born in New York, she was raised in Ireland by Irish parents, and she made her breakthrough on Irish TV.

 

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Golden Globe for 'Lady Bird'

Since then, her work has been widely acclaimed. For the movie 'Lady Bird' in 2017 (photo), she was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe. But Saoirse Ronan also received Oscar nominations for three other movies: 'Atonement' in 2007, 'Brooklyn' in 2015 and 'Little Women' in 2019.

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Saoirse Ronan: multi-talented

Ronan was hailed as the tenth best actress of the 21st century by The New York Times, and considering she has co-starred with the likes of Colin Farrell and Kiera Knightley, this seems like a fair assessment.

She has also cameoed in a couple of music videos and she campaigns for various social issues.

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Brendan Gleeson

Gleeson only started his professional acting career at the age of 34, but he has still managed to rack up appearances in movies like 'Braveheart', 'Michael Collins', 'Mission Impossible' and the Harry Potter series.

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Acting in the Gleeson family

The actor has two sons - Brian and Domhnall (photo) - who are also in the business and who are relatively successful. His other two sons are not actors.

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Known for 'In Bruges' and Harry Potter

Besides Alastor Moody in the Harry Potter films, he's also known for his role in 'In Bruges' (2008), for which he got several award nominations, and he won an Emmy Award in 2009 for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the TV film 'Into the Storm.'

Brendan Gleeson is a fluent Irish speaker and likes promoting the use of the Irish language.

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Colin Farrell

After his wild early days of booze and a leaked sex tape, it seems that the Dubliner has calmed down a lot in recent years and is now focused on making as many good movies as possible.

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An epic actor

Farrell is adept at playing action or comedy, and he first appeared in a BBC soap set in rural Ireland. Career highlights include 'Alexander' and 'In Bruges'. He has had a few duds too, such as the CIA-themed 'The Recruit'.

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Farrell and Gleeson in Bruges

'In Bruges,' a cult classic, features both Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. They play two Irish hitmen who are hiding out in the Belgian town of Bruges.

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Ruth Negga

Negga was born in Ethiopia to an Irish mother, and she was raised in Ireland from the age of 4.

Talented from a young age, legendary director Neil Jordan noticed her and changed the script of 'Breakfast on Pluto' so she could appear in the film.

 

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Ruth Negga in 'Passing'

In 2021 she appeared together with Tessa Thompson (left) in the Netflix film 'Passing,' an adaptation of the classic novel by Nella Larsen in 1929.

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A great voice

Apart from gracing the stage and the screen, she has used her voice in videogames and animated shorts.

She has won innumerable awards throughout her career.

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Cillian Murphy

The Corkonian has lent his talents to the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, and nowadays he is most famous as a Peaky Blinder.

 

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Cillian Murphy in 'Peaky Blinders'

Murphy has advocated on a number of social and political issues over the years. The actor was a vegetarian for more than a decade but began eating meat again to bulk up for his role as Tommy Shelby.

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Not just an actor

Murphy was offered a music record deal before he made it as an actor, but the deal fell apart. But he doesn't have any regrets about what could have been, and now he gets his musical fix by occasionally presenting shows on BBC radio.

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Caitriona Balfe

This award-winning actress and producer has appeared in 'Outlander', 'Belfast' and 'Ford vs. Ferrari'.

Before she was famous, she studied drama at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

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A former model

Balfe got spotted while collecting money for charity outside a shopping centre. Her career as a model was launched, and before she finished modelling, she worked with brands like Givenchy and Chanel.

She is fluent in both French and Irish.

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Gabriel Byrne

Byrne started out as a heartthrob on an Irish soap. He has popped up in a failed sitcom and, vicariously, in a Rubberbandits music video, but his CV is mostly full of well-regarded flicks.

'The Usual Suspects' (photo) and 'In Treatment' are two of his best credits.

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The talented Mr. Byrne

Away from acting, he has worked as a cultural ambassador, narrator and author. He is a very private individual, but he has been publically critical of the Irish government, the Catholic Church, and the Guinness company.

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Michael Fassbender

This handsome Irish man has played a Marvel supervillain, a refined British soldier and an IRA volunteer on hunger strike.

He is related to Michael Collins, the strategist and leader behind Irish independence.

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Petrolhead

As a longtime fan of motorsport, he has competed in numerous competitions and has driven for Porsche. He even finished second and stood on the podium at the Portimão track.

Away from racing, he is fluent in both German and Irish.

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Honourable mentions

There are, of course, other names like Colm Meaney (photo), Brenda Fricker and Aiden Gillen. We would need a much longer list to do justice to all the Irish conquerors of Hollywood.

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Rising talent: Paul Mescal

Young stars are emerging as well, such as Paul Mescal. He already has some impressive credits under his belt and is tipped as an outsider to become the next 007, so fingers crossed he and his contemporaries can go on to even bigger and better things.

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