'Once' Star Glen Hansard shares thoughts on becoming a Hare
By Luis Andres Henao and Aida Alami
Like the character he plays in the Academy-Award winning movie “Once,” Glen Hansard
began his career singing with his guitar on the streets of Dublin for small change.
And, as seen in the movie, he sometimes shared the streets with members of the enthusiastic Hare Krishna
sect, a group that dances in circles chanting their favorite name of god. But what the movie does not
reveal is that Hansard is himself a Hare Krishna follower.
“What I like about Hare Krishnas is that you eat, you dance, and you sing your way
to God,” he explained.
In 1991, Hansard formed the Irish rock band The Frames, and they
released their last album in 2007. That same year, Hansard was the first Irishman to ever win an Oscar for the
Best Song category. The song “Falling Slowly,” was in the soundtrack of the movie “Once,” a
modern day musical about a Busker and a woman who write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love
Hansard spoke about his faith to a group of Columbia University journalism students
on board a Dublin-New York flight in late March. The students were returning from a trip in Ireland in March,
where they reported for their religion class.
Hansard, shoeless and sipping tea comfortably in coach, had just attended his
father’s funeral in Ireland and wasn’t interested in talking about his career. (“That’s
boring,” he dismissed.) But he was eager to share his thoughts on spirituality and his conversion to the Hare
Hansard, 39, dropped out of school at age 13 to devote himself to his music career,
which started with busking in the streets of Dublin. One day, he befriended a group of Hare Krishnas, who had
asked him to take care of their instruments and sweets while they distributed Krishna literature. His spiritual
mind was immediately taken by the chants and the beliefs of Krishna.