‘Project Blue Book’ – Gillen has seen something

Why Aidan Gillen thinks UFOs could exist

Aidan Gillen

In playing 1950s astrophysicist J. Allen Hynek in History’s UFO drama “Project Blue Book,” Aidan Gillen realized that he shared at least one belief with his character – that, yes, there’s probably something out there.

“My line would probably be along the same as Hynek’s or Carl Sagan’s,” the 50-year-old Irish actor says, “that the distances are so vast the chances of a similar kind of life form or even anything vaguely similar to our own, whose technology is going to evolve in any way similar to our own within even a small number of light years, it makes it almost impossible that we’re going to encounter each other. But it’ll probably happen, though. It’ll happen at some point, maybe not with us. We may not be here anymore.”

In the Tuesday series, Gillen (“Game of Thrones”) stars as Hynek, a brilliant college professor recruited by the U.S. Air Force to lead a clandestine operation researching thousands of cases of UFO encounters in the 1950s and ’60s. That operation, dubbed Project Blue Book, ended in 1969 with about 700 cases still unsolved.

Gillen admits he had his own UFO encounter as a 13-year-old, lights in the sky that moved like no conventional aircraft he or his friends knew of. But he’s quick to add that what he saw over Ireland that night could have been anything, and that his and his pals’ imaginations were in overdrive after having just seen “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

“It sets fires in the minds of kids,” he says. “But then the more you’re looking, then you really might see something.”

Full name: Aidan Gillen (born Aidan Murphy)

Birth date: April 24, 1968

Birthplace: Dublin

Famiy ties: Has a son and daughter with wife Olivia

TV credits include: “Queer as Folk,” “Dice,” “Poirot,” “Law & Order: Trial by Jury,” “The Last Detective,” “The Wire,” “Identity,” “Mayday,” “Love/Hate,” “Quantum Break,” “Urban Myths,” “Game of Thrones,” “Peaky Blinders”

Movie credits include: “Circle of Friends” (1995), “Buddy Boy” (1999), “The Low Down” (2000), “Shanghai Knights” (2003), “Trouble With Sex” (2005), “Shadow Dancer” (2012), “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012), “Beneath the Harvest Sky” (2013), “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” (2015), “Sing Street” (2016), “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” (2017), “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” (2018), “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018), “Rose Plays Julie” (forthcoming)

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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