James Comey says Brendan Gleeson's portrayal of Donald Trump was so good it made him 'feel ill'

James Comey says Brendan Gleeson's portrayal of Donald Trump was so good it made him 'feel ill'

FORMER FBI director James Comey has recalled the moment Brendan Gleeson’s portrayal of Donald Trump in a recent UV TV miniseries left him feeling sick. 

The Comey Rule aired depicted the former US president’s shock election victory and early time in office from the perspective of Comey, who was played by Jeff Daniels. 

The four-hour series chronicled Comey’s real-life rise and fall under Trump, a story previously documented in his 2018 memoir A Higher Loyalty. 

It earned rave reviews and a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe nomination for Gleeson 

Speaking during an appearance on RTE’s The Late Late Show, Comey opened up about one scene from the series, in particular, that left him feeling chills. 

It centred on a real-life meeting between Trump and the former FBI director during a private dinner at the White House during which the US President told Comey he demanded loyalty.  

According to Comey, it was an exchange that left him feeling speechless. 

"So we are alone at this little table in the middle of this ornate room in the ground floor of the White House and he says, 'I need loyalty, I expect loyalty'," Comey said. 

"All I could think of to do in that moment was to stare at the man. I didn't blink and the voice inside of my head said 'don't move, don't move'. 

"I couldn't think of anything to say and so I just stared at him and then he looked down at the salad and broke the stare. It seemed like forever in that moment and then I was able to regroup a little bit after that initial silence, but after that moment I was kind of a dead man walking. 

"Looking back, that silence was really the end of my time with Donald Trump as FBI Director.” 

It’s a scene that plays out in the series with Comey left staggered at Gleeson’s eerily accurate performance. 

"The whole dinner was based on a lie,” Comey explained.  

“The man had at that point told me two or three times that he hoped that I would stay on as FBI Director and I assured him I was because Congress had given me a ten year term. 

"Then he began the dinner asking me whether I wanted to stay, which was so odd, and then it became clear he was trying to get something in exchange for pretending like he hadn't already asked me to stay on. 

"Then it came very early: 'I need loyalty, I expect loyalty', and Brendan Gleeson captures that in a way that is so real that watching him made me feel ill." 

Comey revealed to host Ryan Tubridy that he visited the set of the show during filming and was blown away by the accuracy of the performances from both Gleeson and Daniels. 

"I had never met Brendan Gleeson or Jeff Daniels and I went one day to the set in Toronto and they were filming that scene, and the two of them had not rehearsed," he said. 

"They hadn't really spoken to each other because they wanted to maintain that distance Trump and I had. 

"I watched them and afterwards I met them and they said 'what did you think?' and I said 'the highest compliment I can pay you is that you just ruined my day'". 

Gleeson has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor award at the Golden Globes. 

He is up against John Boyega (Small Axe), Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek), Jim Parsons (Hollywood), and Donald Sutherland (The Undoing). 

The winners will be announced later this month.