DU Alumni

Business-school grad is a new cast member on Showtime’s ‘House of Lies’

Rob Gleeson, left, plays Jeffrey, a quiet, intense “numbers guy,” on season three of Showtime’s comedy series “House of Lies.” Photo courtesy of Showtime

Rob Gleeson (BSBA ’10) isn’t just a business-school grad in real life — he also plays one on TV.

Gleeson, 26, has been cast as Jeffrey, a quiet, intense “numbers guy,” on season three of Showtime’s comedy series “House of Lies,” which stars Denver native Don Cheadle as a ruthless management consultant. The new season, premiering Jan. 12, finds Cheadle’s character leaving Galweather & Stearn to open his own shop; Gleeson plays one of the new company’s junior analysts.

“I’m one of the few people on the show who went to business school,” says Gleeson, 26. “Having that background is really nice, because it’s a lot of financial jargon they throw around on the show. I can walk on the set knowing what this world is like and how cutthroat these people are because I went to school for finance and I have a lot of friends who are working in that sector now. So I know how brutal and how backstabbing that world can be.”

Gleeson is one of several new cast members on “House of Lies,” joining actors such as Mekhi Phifer and former “Happy Endings” star Eliza Coupe. The role is Gleeson’s latest step in a career that includes a standup comedy — he tours to more than 20 colleges each year — a 2012 AT&T ad campaign with Will Arnett and guest appearances on TV shows such as “How I Met Your Mother” and “iCarly.”

Managing a TV and a comedy career is a balancing act, he says, but one that he’s happy to balance for a while.

“I got really lucky on ‘House of Lies’ that everyone is super-nice and super-cool,” he says. “Everyone has a good time while we’re shooting; it’s a very relaxed atmosphere. If I could do that for the rest of my life, that’s a no-brainer. But there’s something very uniquely rewarding about standup — it’s sort of a high you can’t get from any other creative outlet.”

Has being on Showtime opened new doors for the DU grad? He says it’s the beginning of a relationship with Showtime, as well as actors like Cheadle and Coupe, but the future is still far from certain.

“What you realize, once you’re in this industry, is there’s no one big break but there are a lot of little breaks,” he says. “There are a lot of jobs that make the next job 3 percent easier to get, and I think this is definitely one of those jobs.”


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