Guest Author - Asha Sahni
Scottish actors have appeared in a range of high-profile futuristic /fantasy films and programmes including Dr Who. Star Wars, the X-Files, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe and the Harry Potter films.
Some Scottish actors have played roles where viewers may not be aware of their Scottish origins. Scottish actor David Tennant was asked to use an English accent for his role as the Doctor in Dr Who. It is good to see that Karen Gillan, assistant to Matt Smith’s Doctor, has kept her Scottish accent for the part of Amy Pond. Steven Moffat, executive producer and chief writer for the show is also Scottish.
David Tennant was Barty Crouch Junior in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Other Scottish actors in the Harry Potter films have included Robbie Coltrane as the gigantic Hagrid and Shirley Henderson as Moaning Myrtle.
You may know Ewan MacGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the early Star Wars films. He was also a candidate for the role of Professor Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It is rumoured that he was offered the role of Neo in the Matrix but turned it down.
Sean Connery, awarded the title of Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine, is best known as James Bond. He too ventured into futuristic territory, appearing in the Highlander movies and Time Bandits. His roles in First Knight and Sword of the Valiant took him into the territory of Arthurian legend.
Tilda Swinton, born in Dunfermline, played the role of the White Witch in The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe. Scottish actor James McAvoy was Mr Tumnus, the Faun , in the same film. He was in the miniseries Children of Dune (by Frank Herbert – the Dune novels are science fiction classics). James McAvoy is also billed as being in X-Men: First Class due to be released in 2011.
The actor Brian Cox, born in Dundee in 1946, is known for his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Yet his career holds threads of work in science fiction and fantasy including the 1960s series The Prisoner, the second X-Men film, voice roles in Fantastic Mr Fox and Dr Who and a role in the TV series The Day Of The Triffids (based on the book by John Wyndham). It is said Brian Cox may also be involved in the forthcoming Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Apes.
Fantasy, science fiction, stories of worlds that may be have attracted many Scottish actors. Could this be because Scottish people remain close to earth, sea and sky, to story and community, knowing that anything is possible in this world and beyond...