‘The Patient’: Domhnall Gleeson Was ‘Shivering With Caffeine’ After 1 Take

The new Hulu series The Patient stars Domhnall Gleeson and Steve Carell. Gleeson’s characters Sam is a man with a compulsion to kill, who kidnaps Carell’s character Alan. During his captivity, Sam brings Alan a plethora of takeout and sips on quite a bit of Dunkin Donuts coffee. One take led to Gleeson getting jitters from the caffeine.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Patient Episodes 1-3.]

Domhnall Gleeson as Sam and Steve Carell as Alan in The Patient. Sam and Alan talk on either side of a glass table in Alan's office. Alan wears a hat and sunglasses.
Domhnall Gleeson as Sam and Steve Carell as Alan in ‘The Patient’ | Suzanne Tenner/FX

Domhnall Gleeson plays Sam in Hulu’s ‘The Patient’

In Hulu’s The Patient, Domhnall Gleeson’s character Sam, a man with a violent compulsion, kidnaps his therapist, Alan Strauss. Sam has killed people before, and he hopes that Alan will help him with his violent urges so that he can stop taking lives. Alan eventually agrees to help, though he doesn’t have much choice since Sam has him chained in his basement.

As Sam opens up to Alan, he begins to tell the truth about his life. Sam had an abusive father. The home where Alan is imprisoned belongs to his mother, who actually knows about Alan’s presence. Sam also discusses his job as a food safety inspector. He even tells Alan that he wanted to kill an arrogant restaurant manager who he dealt with at work.

Gleeson had too much caffeine while filming 1 scene

Although Sam is a serial killer, The Patient shows glimpses of his other interests and life outside of violent crime. For example, Domhnall Gleeson sips on Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in quite a few scenes in The Patient. In an interview with Decider, the actor was asked if this decision about his character had anything to do with Ben Affleck’s love of the coffee chain.

“I did not know Ben Affleck was a Dunkin’ fanboy,” Gleeson laughed. “But no, I can safely say I did not base any aspect of Sam’s personality on Ben Affleck. It’s important that I get that out there.” Gleeson also learned that he couldn’t sip fully caffeinated coffee the entire time.

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“When we were filming, I went decaf, I should point out,” he told Decider. “And we didn’t do decaf for the first take, and I was like, ‘Oh my god. Like, I cannot do any more takes like that.’ I was shivering with caffeine.”

Takeout food plays a major role in the Hulu series

Perhaps, thanks to his job as a food safety inspector, Sam also has quite the eclectic palette. He brings Alan elaborate takeout dishes and seems to enjoy describing the meals to his prisoner.

“It’s funny, you often hear with serial killers that the neighbor is so surprised. But we delved a little deeper into that and learned that these people can sometimes be quite successful in their work lives and even getting along with people,” said co-creator of The Patient Joe Weisberg while speaking to The Daily Beast.

According to Today, FX and Hulu are even giving out free takeout dinners to viewers in tandem with new episodes of The Patient airing each week.

New episodes of The Patient debut every Tuesday on Hulu.