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'About Time's' Domhnall Gleeson: 'It would have been easier for Richard Curtis to cast someone famous'

Have you seen About Time yet? If you haven’t, maybe you should—if not for the heartwarming, comedic goodness that is a Richard Curtis movie (the mind behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love, Actually) than to see up-and-comer Domhnall Gleeson in his first feature lead role. “It would have been a lot easier for Richard to cast somebody famous,” says Gleeson, 30, with a laugh. “To be honest, they probably would have made more money!”

The Dublin-born Gleeson is the son of actor Brendan Gleeson, and first appeared on the scene earning a Tony nomination in 2006 for his work in the Broadway production of The Lieutenant of Inishmore. He’d appeared in smaller roles in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2, Never Let Me Go, and Anna Karenina, playing Levin. In fact, when he first met with Curtis he still had Levin’s rather substantial facial hair. “When we cast him he had this very severe big beard from Anna Karenina,” says Curtis. “I was trying to cast this callow youth and it was a kind of leap of faith. But I could see underneath the bush there was a very nice human being.”

Richard Curtis on 'About Time' being his last film: 'I decided I should take my own advice'

Richard Curtis’ new film About Time — out Nov. 8 — stars Domhnall Gleeson as a young Englishman who discovers that he can travel through time, just like his dad (Bill Nighy). But the director, who has written such rom-com classics as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, as well as directing Love Actually (the cinematic equivalent to a supergroup), insists that he hasn’t switched genres completely.

“It’s actually an anti-time-travel time-travel movie,” he says with a laugh. But how could this be? “You’ll understand once you see it,” he promises. “It’s really a philosophical movie — what if you had one day to live? You wouldn’t want to try to win an Oscar or get an Olympic gold medal. You’d live a normal day: You’d have breakfast with your kids and lunch with your friends and dinner with someone you love. This film is about what matters in time. And it turns out, in my opinion, to be the most ordinary of things.”

It was this thinking that helped Curtis come to the realization that About Time will more than likely be the last film he directs.

Rachel McAdams' 'About Time' trailer: 'Have we had this conversation before?' -- VIDEO

From Richard Curtis, the writer of Notting Hill and Love Actually, comes another story about love in a complicated world. But this time around, the complication involves a bit of time travel.

In About Time, Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter‘s Bill Weasley) stars as Tim, a young man whose father (played by Bill Nighy) informs him that the men in their family have a very special talent. Give these guys a dark space and let them really concentrate, and they can travel through time. The trick is how much and for what they use their gift. And after Tim falls in love with Mary (Rachel McAdams) and starts to use time travel to re-do things — like the first time they met or the first time they slept together, things start to go a little haywire.

Watch the slightly different domestic and international trailers for About Time below: READ FULL STORY

Rachel McAdams rom-com 'About Time' gets new release date

Rachel McAdams’ upcoming time travel romantic comedy, About Time, is doing some of its own leaping across the calendar. Universal announced on Thursday that the film, originally slated for a May 10, 2013 opening date, will now launch in limited release on Nov. 1, 2013 opening nationwide on Nov. 8, 2013.

In About Time, Mary (McAdams) falls in love with Tim Lake (Harry Potter actor Domhnall Gleeson), a man who learns that he, like his father (Bill Nighy), has the ability to travel through time. When an unfortunate time travel incident re-writes history to erase Mary and Tim ever meeting, he has to win her heart all over again. READ FULL STORY

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