From Open Culture:
Depending on which circles you run in, you might have first spotted singer-songwriter-actor Glen Hansard as the leader of the rock band The Frames, as an actor in Alan Parker’s film The Commitments, or, more recently, as one half of the folk-rock duo The Swell Season. But if the success of John Carney’s movie Once is anything to go by, you may well have become aware of Glen Hansard while watching it. Carney, The Frames’ former bassist, knew that Hansard had accumulated just the kind stories in his youth spent busking around Dublin to shape his film’s down-and-out musician protagonist. By shooting time, Hansard had taken on the role himself, ensuring that a whole new, large audience would soon learn of a second inimitable Irish voice to put on their playlists.
The first, of course, would have to be Van Morrison, whose artistic captivation of generations of listeners extends to Hansard himself. Invited to Morrison’s birthday party by a Guinness heiress whom he befriended while busking, Hansard seized the chance to get near his favorite singer.