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Actor Brendan Gleeson discusses 'Calvary'

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 15: Actor Brendan Gleeson arrives at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Stories of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church have become unfortunately all too common, and the crimes can often go unpunished in the real world. However, one victim of abuse at the hands of a priest decides to take his revenge in the film "Calvary," and reveals his intentions to a priest during confession.

Actor Brendan Gleeson, who you've seen in "Braveheart" and "Gangs of New York," plays Father James Lavelle, the priest who hears the victim's confession. 

Gleeson talked to Take Two's Alex Cohen on Friday's show. Here's what he had to say about how his character handles hearing what this victim has to say:

"It is his worst nightmare to be confronted with what he knows is there all the time, which is the abuse that has been happening in the church and the cover up of that abuse. One of the things that comes from the movie is that child abuse is not something that we move on from and forgive and everything just goes back to the way it was -- it's a life sentence. I think he's acutely aware of the communal guilt involved in that. He's a man of the cloth, and it was done by people of the cloth, so I think his initial reaction is ineptitude. He feels his own ineptitude to answer the question."

Gleeson and writer John Michael McDonagh apparently ironed out the plot at a pub in Ireland while finishing up work on "The Guard." He said that McDonagh had seen waiting to write something about a good man who has to "take the flak" for the wrongdoings of others in this profession.

"He said, 'If I write it, will you do it?' And I said yes," Gleeson said.


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