At a recent screening of Glassland, writer/director Gerard Barrett took part in a post-screening discussion of his film. Gerard began by explaining his intention that the story be one that could be set anywhere. “You don’t see the Luas, you don’t see Dublin buses or anything like that. For me, it’s very much an urban setting somewhere. If the accents were different it could have been somewhere else. Yes, it’s an Irish film and it’s set in Ireland but it’s an international story. It was important for me to make a film that would have an international appeal.”
Assembling a terrific cast, Gerard shot the film in 17 days. “We had Toni Collette for 4 and a half days. We had Will Poulter for 4 days and Michael Smiley for a day and a half. It was great. It was intense. It was raw. It was real. Toni was coming off a huge TV show in America. Jack [Reynor] was coming of Transformers. Will was coming off The Maze Runner and Michael was coming off The World’s End. They were all coming off these huge productions but were ready to be put in to the world of the film. It’s a tough piece to make in a sense but everyone that was there wanted to be there.
“It is a tough film. It’s not for everybody, Someone said to me it’s uplifting… It’s about families coming together and sticking through it. I love hearing that. That is there – you just have to find it. The answers are there on the screen. The film is about the collateral damage of addiction. It’s not about the addict. It’s about the people that are around that person – the chaos, the crisis, the danger. Every family goes through some form of a crisis at some stage. It’s not easy but what’s great is that most families stick together and pull through. In this film that’s the case. You need that one person, that one sibling in every family that will stand up and take control. That’s why I think a lot of people love Jack’s character. He has no smartphone, no laptop, social media doesn’t come into his life, he doesn’t watch TV or put the radio on in his car. He’s very focused, just listening on his headphones to whatever he’s listening to. He’s on a mission. His job is to keep that family together.”
Glassland is in cinemas now