One of the most striking starring debuts in recent years was that of Gordon Sinclair, as he was then, as the ‘slow and awkward’ hero of Bill Forsyth‘s Gregory ’5 Girl. As the gangling schoolboy in search of true love on the football field, Sinclair perfectly captured the awkwardness

of teenage romance and displayed an

aptitude for comedy which led many to pred ict great things for the ex-apprentice electrician from Glasgow. Since then he has not

exactly set the screen alight surfacing only in a small role in Local Hero and g

cropping up in such things as an Altered Images video and an appearance on stage in the maligned Women All Over at last year‘s Edinburgh Festival. This year. however, John Gordon Sinclair, as he is now due to an Equity ruling

about two actors not having the same 3

name. has reappeared with both a part as the Crucible‘s star, cub reporter in the bizarre TV series about the press Hot Metal and as a photographer in the film The Girl in the Picture which has a Royal Premiere in Glasgow on 18 March. Now living in London, Sinclair joked that it was nice to talk to someone in his own language before telling me a bit about the film. ‘It‘s a bit of a romance about a guy who

spends the first halfof the film trying

to think ofways to get his girlfriend to leave and once he thinks of a way he spends the second half trying to get her back, because he really loves her.‘ The film. shot on location

‘really out ofhand‘

around Glasgow also features Inna Brook as ‘the girl‘ in the picture and Scottish stalwarts such as Rikki Fulton and Gregor Fisher who are involved in ‘the subplots which come about through the work of the studio.‘ The studio in question is the Smile Please Studio where Gordon‘s character, Alan, works as a photographer. I asked Gordon ifhe

had managed to get away from the gawky teenager image of Gregory ’3

Girl. ‘I thought it was different in lots

ofways an older more mature, cynical sort ofcharacter, but a lot of people thought it was similar. I thought it was different but I don‘t know if it is that much.‘

Gordon is also currently appearing as a reporter in Hot Metal, a comedy series about pop-journalism made by the Whoops Apocalypse team. So far it has not been generally acclaimed. but Sinclair explained: ‘the first two episodes were always quite weak, but by the fifth episode it‘s just crazy,

really out of hand. Keep watching it, that‘s all I can say.‘ Someone said to me that he did not find Hot Metal funny because it is so true to life and therefore nothing to laugh about. It is an attitude Sinclair can understand. ‘I think it‘s a bit ironic. It‘s quite funny. because people will watch it and think it‘s so crazy that it can‘t be true but in actual fact it‘s

: probably more true. A lot of

-, newspaper people like it because it‘s

3 very close to what they get up to, but

g the public who don‘t know much

[bout it will think it‘s just outrageous

comedy.‘ I asked ifhe had 6'l‘he rm 7 2n Mar

- researchedthelifeofa newspaperman; ‘I‘ve met enough

John Gordon Sinclair, the lovesick schoolboy of Gregory’s Girl is mini-hack in the TV series Hot Metal and snaps the star part in The Girl in the Picture, which gets its Royal Premiere in Glasgow on 18 March. Where is the gawky teenager now asks Graham Caldwell?

journalists in my time,‘ he said, ‘to

1 know all I need to know.‘

Increasingly Sinclair finds himself

drawn to directing and a few weeks

ago he made his debut with a promo

. video for London band, The Perils of

Plastic. He became involved in this by approaching the managing director of Warner Brothers and saying he‘d like to become involved in directing and the way he‘d do ‘the least damage’ would be to direct a E few videos. Is he pleased with the i results? ‘In lots ofways I am, I‘d give i it nine out of ten. As a first attempt i I’m quite pleased with it, but it’s not a great video.‘ I was curious to know ; why he had this urge and the answer I is quite surprising. ‘I quite enjoy

acting, but it‘s one of those things I‘ve never felt really happy with. It’s like when I was an apprentice electrician. it was just something that happened to me and it‘s the same thing with acting- it just happened. Directing is something I‘ve actually gone out and made happen myself. For the first time ever, I was going to say years, but for the first time ever, I feel that I‘ve achieved something. I enjoyed doing it a lot and in the next

couple of years I‘m going to try my

best to steer in that direction.‘

This is all in the future so I asked him what his more immediate plans were. ‘I may be doing another farce in London and a play called The Lemmings are Coming‘ This is about five Scots who live in a flat in London and Gordon performed it last

summer with the help of John Baraldi, who directed him while he was with the Glasgow Youth Theatre, and friends from the theatre Robert Buchanan and Douglas Sannachan who also appeared with him in Gregory’s Girl and its predecessor That Sinking Feeling. ‘It was the best experience I‘ve had in the theatre. It‘s great! It‘s got everything— drama, comedy, mime . . . it‘s a brilliant, brilliant play! It‘s the only play I’ve ever done that I‘d like to do again and hopefully we‘ll do that in the summer and come up to Glasgow and to the Edinburgh Festival'

He did not emerge covered in glory from his last visit to the Festival when he had a part in John Wells‘ Women All Over and he does not appear to look back on it with any particular fondness. ‘It was pretty hard going actually. The day before we went to Edinburgh we were still working on re-writes and when we were playing the show we were rehearsing re-writes during the day which we were doing at night. It was very hard work.‘ But does this explain the pounding the play took at the hands of the critics? Gordon has his own ideas about that. ‘The big mistake I think that John Wells made was saying it was adapted from a Feydeau farce because it was so far removed from Feydeau that it had nothing to do with it really. People went along thinking they were going to see a modern Feydeau farce which it wasn‘t. IfJohn Wells hadjust said it was a modern farce I think he‘d have got better notices.‘

Prior to his return in The Girl in the Picture, Gordon decamped to London and I asked him if he felt let down that it took so long to return to the screen. ‘Not really. just to come down here and work at all is quite incredible so I didn‘t feel let down at all. I‘ve quite enjoyed myselfover the past few years.‘

‘tartan ties”

He does admit to missing Glasgow

a little, although he said that he is not i

the type to have food parcels of Irn Em and tattie scones sent to him. In common with other Anglos and

expatriates. he thinks he has become ; more Scottish since going away. ‘The

bagpipes sound much better to me now and I‘ve got a couple of Sinclair tartan ties which I wear quite a lot. I quite enjoy working down here it just makes going back to Glasgow all the better.‘

Both Sinclair and director Cary Parker are aware that the film may come in for the same criticism as did Restless Natives, that it will be seen as a poor, Bill Forsyth copy. whatever its merits. ‘It‘s a shame in a way, but it may happen, human nature being what it is. It‘s a shame for everybody concerned: for Bill Forsyth for a start and also for Cary Parker. . . and probably for me too.‘ Ofcourse, this is not to say that he is full of negative thoughts about the film and he is clearly looking forward to the Royal Premiere later this month. ‘It‘s an exciting thing. I think it‘s the first Royal Premiere Glasgow‘s had. It‘s great that it‘s happening in Glasgow.‘