'Harry Potter' star Brendan Gleeson to play Donald Trump in new drama series

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Gleeson will play Trump in new CBS show (Credit: Ron Eshel/Invision/AP/Getty)

Irish actor Brendan Gleeson has been cast as Donald Trump in a new drama series for US network CBS.

The show will dramatise former FBI director James Comey's best-selling memoir A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies And Leadership.

Comey will be played in the show by Jeff Daniels.

Speaking to Deadline, Billy Ray, who is adapting the book for the screen, said: “It's hard to imagine a bigger acting challenge than playing Donald Trump.

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“You have to have presence, and a singular kind of dynamism. You also have to have the courage and the will to play Trump's psychology from the inside out.

“Oh, and you have to be spectacularly talented and watchable. Not many actors check all those boxes. Brendan does. I'm ecstatic about this.”

Former FBI Director James Comey (Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

64-year-old Dublin-born Gleeson famously played dark wizard catcher Alastor Moody in the Harry Potter movies, and is also known for starring roles in movies like Gangs of New York, Braveheart, In Bruges and Paddington 2.

Comey's memoir was published in 2018, a year after he was fired as the seventh director of the FBI by Trump.

It famously detailed Comey's recollections of the Hillary Clinton email scandal, and also Trump's requests for his loyalty in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Ray is also directing the show as well as writing, having previously adapted Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks from a real-life story to the screen, and the forthcoming Richard Jewell, Clint Eastwood's next movie.

He added of Daniels: “Jeff is so perfect for this part. Great actor, instant integrity, loads of warmth, intelligence, complexity and gravitas.

“We talked backstage after I saw him in To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway, and I knew I was looking at the only person who could play Jim Comey. Lucky for me, he said yes.”

There's no broadcast date as yet.