Aidan Murphy (born 24 April 1968), better known as Aidan Gillen, is an Irish actor.
Gillen is best known for his television roles as Stuart Alan Jones in the Channel 4 series Queer as Folk (1999–2000), Tommy Carcetti in the HBO series The Wire (2004–2008), John Boy in the RTÉ series Love/Hate (2010–2011), Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish in the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011–2017), Aberama Gold in the BBC One series Peaky Blinders (2017–2019), and Dr. J. Allen Hynek in The History Channel’s Project Blue Book (2019–2020).
Gillen’s film roles include CIA agent Bill Wilson in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Janson in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015) and Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018), and Queen’s manager John Reid in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018). He has won three Irish Film & Television Awards and has been nominated for a British Academy Television Award, a British Independent Film Award, and a Tony Award.
Gillen played Stuart Alan Jones in the Channel 4 television series Queer as Folk and its sequel, for which he received a British Academy Television Award nomination for Best Actor. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his Broadway role in Harold Pinter’s play The Caretaker and has also been nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award for his portrayal of Teach in the Dublin Gate Theatre’s 2007 production of David Mamet’s American Buffalo.
In 2004, having been spotted by producers in The Caretaker, Gillen was cast as Tommy Carcetti in the HBO series The Wire, for which he received an Irish Film & Television Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in Television. In 2008, he was named an “Irish cult hero” by the Sunday Tribune. He appeared in the 2009 film 12 Rounds, and in July of that year, he appeared in the one-off BBC2 drama Freefall. He co-starred as Phil Hendrick in the British drama Thorne.
In 2011, Gillen began playing Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish on the HBO series Game of Thrones, for which he received his second Irish Film & Television Award nomination. He appeared in seven seasons, until his character’s death in the season 7 finale “The Dragon and the Wolf”. He starred as cop killer Barry Weiss in the British crime-thriller Blitz and in the British horror film Wake Wood. He played crime boss John Boy in the acclaimed Irish crime-drama Love/Hate, for which he received his third Irish Film & Television Award nomination and second win.
In 2012, Gillen played CIA operative Bill Wilson (referred to solely as “CIA” in the film’s dialogue; the character’s name is revealed in the film’s novelisation) in The Dark Knight Rises, his first role in a major Hollywood film. Gillen said he enjoyed playing the role, but preferred low-budget lead roles to blockbuster bit-parts. Gillen’s character was particularly noted by some Internet circles for his delivery of supposedly awkward dialogue in the film’s opening plane scene, especially by users of 4chan’s /tv/ board. Thus, he subsequently became the subject of an Internet meme popular among /tv/ users known as “Baneposting”, which references the dialogue between Wilson and Tom Hardy’s character Bane in said scene. The same year, Gillen also starred in the British spy-drama Shadow Dancer, and was announced as the new host of the music show Other Voices.
Gillen starred in the BBC five-part thriller Mayday in 2013, and the Irish comedy-drama film Calvary the following year. He shared a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination with the cast of Game of Thrones for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. He also starred in the short film Ekki Múkk, created for the Valtari Mystery Film Experiment by Icelandic band Sigur Rós. Gillen also starred as Janson in the second film, The Scorch Trials, and third film, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, in the Maze Runner trilogy.
Gillen played Queen’s manager John Reid in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which was released on 2 November 2018.
Gillen starred as Aidan in the short film titled I Didn’t…I Wasn’t…I Amn’t, written and directed by Irish actress Laoisa Sexton.
Gillen starred in The History Channel’s series Project Blue Book. He plays Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a brilliant and underappreciated college professor who is recruited by the U.S. Air Force to spearhead an operation named Project Blue Book. He is joined by his partner Air Force Capt. Michael Quinn as they investigate UFO sightings around the country. Project Blue Book was renewed for a second season in February 2019 amid strong ratings for the series, which is averaging 3.4 million viewers in L+3.