Image: (left to right) Robin Baird – DGWGO, Ali Donowho – Alive Radio, Brian Cox, Andrea Thomson – DG Life Magazine, Lee Medd – Alive Radio – Image by Loftus Brown
Brian is a Scottish actor born in Dundee in 1946 , He is known for his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, He has also appeared in many tv programmes and Hollywood productions playing parts such as Dr. Guggenheim in Rushmore, William Stryker in X2: X-Men United and Agamemnon in Troy. He was the first actor to portray Hannibal Lecter on film in the 1986 production Manhunter. And also as he told us himself, he was the Only Scottish Actor to appear in both Rob Roy and of course Braveheart.
I was invited to the evening as a member of the press, along with Andrea Thompson from Dumfries and Galloway life Magazine and her photographer Loftus Brown. Also Lee Med and Ali Donowho from Alive Radio and their photographer Peter Miller . There were also some other local press too. This was my first ever press evening were I was going to get a chance to interview a Hollywood Actor and Photograph him also, and I must admit , being someone who is fairly stand backish, I was quite nervous.
When we were invited in to do the interviews, Brian was a total gentleman, the more practised press started Asking questions straight away, and Brian answered them very generously. He told us that he was ashamed to say it was his first visit to Dumfries, he told us about how many years ago he once played Robbie Burns, and he was very pleased to be in the Theatre Royal, one of Burns’s old haunting Grounds. He also told us a lot about his career through the years, starting at Dundee Rep as a young man, right through to his Hollywood block busters.
Then we were prompted for one last question, I still hadn’t had a chance to ask one because I had been busy taking photo’s, and I was beaten to it, by a young lady journalist who had asked a lot of questions already, but as soon as Brian had finished, I decided to quickly ask my question too, and as he was discussing Hollywood blockbusters at the time. I Asked ” Now that many major movies involved so much CGI ( computer generated images) did Brian worry , that eventually, Actors would become redundant in the movies, and their only platform would be live stage performances?” ( I actually shocked my self coming up with such a good question) Mr Cox answered ,in his loud confidant voice, like a school master bellowing across a class room. He said that although cgi was taking over , and will always have a place in the movies, that he felt there will always be a need for Human actors still, as that is what people want to see, that people love the human touch and interaction. I was very pleased to receive a great answer . ( secretly I was rather chuffed that I had been brave enough to ask it).
Here is an audio clip (thanks to Ali Donowho of Alive Radio) of me asking Brian my question – simply click play to listen
After our half hour interview session , Brian had to did his official event . ‘ An evening of conversation. ‘ and then a presentation of Grants from the Wardlaw Drama Trust to some very lucky young acting talent from Dumfries .
The theatre was packed with an audience that was glued to Brian’s stories of his past from childhood right through to his last TV drama that was set in his own Sacred Dundee. Then the Audience got to ask questions of there own . Then the presentations were made!
One of the Trust’s major tasks each year is to award funding to individuals who wish to undertake training in the performing arts. The Trust recently considered applications and the following presentations were made
• James Charlton, from Moffat, attending Scottish Youth Theatre
• Toni Jerrett, from Moffat, attending a foundation course at Motherwell
• Danielle Little, from Moffat, attending Electric Theatre Summer School
• Jordan Chisholm, from Dumfries, attending Electric Theatre Summer School
• Rachel McDougall, from Dumfries, attending Electric Theatre Summer School
• Adam Rowland, from Dumfries, attending Electric Theatre Summer School
• Rory Kempsall, from Dumfries, attending Royal Scottish Conservatoire weekly class
• Charlotte Kennedy, from Thornhill, attending HNC Acting Course at Ayr College
• Ben More, from Newton Stewart, attending Scottish Youth Theatre
• Kirsty McColm, from Whithorn, attending Scottish Youth Theatre
After the presentations, there were more photo chances, and a lot of people got to meet and greet Brain, who obliged most willingly! It was a great night, with a fantastic atmosphere. It was only my second time in Scotland’s Oldest Working Theatre, and it is an evening I will always remember , as the first night I got to interview a Hollywood Star!