Glen Hansard (born 21 April 1970 in Dublin, Ireland) is the main songwriter and singer/guitarist for Irish rock group The Frames. He is also known for starring in the movie Once and co-writing its Academy Award-winning song, "Falling Slowly."
Hansard quit school at age 13 to begin busking on local Dublin streets. He formed The Frames in 1990, and they have been an important part of the Irish music scene ever since. Their first album, Another Love Song, was released on Island Records in 1991, and their most recent, The Cost, was released in 2006.
Hansard first came to international attention as guitar player Outspan Foster in the 1991 Alan Parker movie The Commitments, after attending the New York movie Academy School of Acting. He has often stated that he regretted taking the role, because he felt it distracted from his music career.
On 22 April 2006, he released his first album without The Frames, The swell season, on Overcoat Recordings in collaboration with Czech singer and multi-instrumentalist Markéta Irglová, Marja Tuhkanen from Finland on violin and viola, and Bertrand Galen from France on cello. Hansard also spent part of 2006 in front of the cameras for a music-infused Irish movie Once, in which Hansard plays a Dublin busker, and Irglová an immigrant street vendor. The movie had its American premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007 and received the Festival's World Cinema Audience Award. During the promotional tour, he and Irglová began dating. Said Hansard about his relationship with Irglova: "I had been falling in love with her for a long time, but I kept telling myself she's just a kid". One of the songs they wrote together for the movie ("Falling Slowly") won an Oscar for Best Song in February 2008. Hansard became the first Irish-born person to win in that category. Hansard and Irglová also recorded a version of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" for the movie I'm Not There in 2007. In 2009, Hansard said that he and Irglova were no longer romantically linked, and that they are now "good friends."
Aside from his projects with The Frames and Irglová, Hansard also appeared as part of the band on the 2006 Oxfam charity album, The Cake Sale. In addition, Hansard has recorded a few cover songs, both alone and with band member Colm Mac Con Iomaire, for the Today FM discs Even Better than the Real Thing. Songs that he has recorded include Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" on Vol. 1 and Britney Spears' "Everytime" on Vol. 2.
Outside music, he appeared on a Simpsons episode as a street musician in Ireland.
Hansard has remarked about his musical influences: "In my house, when I was a kid, there was the holy trinity, which was Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison and Bob Dylan with Bob sitting center." Hansard and The Frames toured as the support act for Bob Dylan in Australia and New Zealand in August 2007 and Hansard often performs Van Morrison's songs in concert. "Into the Mystic" and "And the Healing Has Begun" were included on the collector's edition of the soundtrack for the movie Once.