ROB ROY FEATURE
windsurfing". I still think it was some kind of strange initiation rite to see ifl was up to it.
I ‘Then it was on to funding. The Scottish Film Production Fund were the ﬁrst people to come in: they put up £15.000 towards the ﬁrst draft
Born in Glasgow, Peter Broughan worked as 8 ‘Alan Sharp has always been a beacon of light because they liked the idea of Rob Roy and they
college lecturer before entering the ﬁlm for ambitious Scots. He was the sort of ultimate really liked the idea of bringing a guy like Alan
industry as a researcher on the Camera- working-class boy made good from Greenock. back home. as it were. The film became very
Moving Pictures series and as production the guy who had worked in the yards. who had real very quickly. But it was only after a couple
officer on Peter Greenaway’s The written an existentialist novel in the (30s and of years of serious script development that Alan
Draughtsman’s Contract. As a script editor, won a Scottish Arts Council prize. who had was able to screw it round into place.
he has worked on Tutti Frutti, Leaving and A written two westerns on spec and suddenly they ‘It was at that point that Michael Caton-Jones Govan Ghost Story; as producer, his credits were sold and he was in Hollywood — he was became seriously involved. He’d known about it ine|ude The Justice Game, Yellowbacks and out there and doing it. He wrote a thing called for a while. btit wasn’t in any way committed to Your Cheatin’ Heart. Now that his long- ‘A Dream Of Perfection‘ which. for me. is still it until i met him at the Edinburgh Film Festival cherished Rob Roy project has come to the best thing ever written about the Scottish (in 1993). A few months later, we were in Los "union, he wi" pfoduce another American psyche and Scottish football in the same essay. Angeles — myself and Richard Jackson, my. studio feature for 20th century Fox this ‘So 1 got his number in New Zealand where partner at Talisman Films, and Alan — meeting summon while his production company he's been living for the last ten years. and i gave Michael and his agent at CCA [Hollywood’s Tansman Films is convent” deve|opino two him the basic pitch. I sent liiiiithe treatment d most influential talent agency]. It was gomg British low_budget ﬁlms, one of which is an written and he phoned back~ withina week of well. everyone was very happy. Then we came adaptation of lain Banksts novel complicity. dispatch and said. “ l his is interesting. I might downstairs picked up the daily trades, and want to do it“. So i flew to New Zealand. and they were glvmg out that Mel Gibson was "The original intention was always to do after a ridiculously longjourncy. Alan met me making a film called Brave/tear! in Scotland something that was big and Scottish at the same off the plane at Auckland and we drove tip to this summer. I must admit that, at that point, 1 time. At the point when I had the idea of doing the place where you get the ferry across to his thought. “That’s it — it‘s gone. The big Scottish the film. there was a parallel realisation that. if island. He lives in a place called Kawau. which film is going to get done. That wee Australian you’re going to do it at all. you have to play it is an idyllically located island with no roads. bastardl’: And Michael said. he fuck gomg right up to the hilt. There‘s no way that you and people live at the end of long wooden to do it first! Is he fuck!” He might deny it . could do the image of Rob Roy I had in my jellies. I spent three weeks there. hanging out at himself. btit l’m convinced it was at that pomt head and not be tip to studio level in production his house. talking about Rob Roy and taking that Michael became totally committed to the values. But every single frame of this film was wee trips in his boat. In fact. the first afternoon. project. It wasn‘t long after that that Michael shot in this country. It’s a film that’s totally after I‘d been travelling for about 48 hours. he took Alan’s last draft to United Artists and unapologetic about being Scottish. it doesn’t said. “You want a trip in the dinghy/1’". so I brought in Liam Neeson as well. So then we have to make any excuses — it’s big and it’s said. "Okay". He took me out and he capsized had all the classic elements - we had a script. intelligent. it’s serious. it‘s funny. it’s moving the thing way otlt in the Pacific. He asked ifl we had a director that the_studio wanted to work and it’s epic in a kind of intimate way, was all right. and I said “Yeah. l do a bit of with. and we had a star.’ L]
Gathering the clans
The director and cast of Rob Roy explain why, with so many scripts to choose from, they were drawn to
adults who share a deep love that is both physical and emotional. The story was great, containing depth, integrity and strong commercial appeal. And
Scotland’s past. ‘ 3 MICHAEL onion-Jones - THE DIRECTOR . ‘2‘ ‘ .: ‘This is a love story. It’s a relationship between two _.;;;e":tt‘;~“ ‘_ > .
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A|an Sharp is probably the best write.» with whom Jessica Lange as Mary Macgregor - Tim Roth as the fopplsh Cunningham : We eve, worked. Both 0' us being Scottish helped ‘a mum-dimensional “real” woman’ a truly lethal sociopath enormously because we had a shared culture . . . wonderful to stand there, dressed in the period, and he could understand my accent. and know that these hills and mountains haven’t JHN Hum MARQUIS 0F MONTBOSE
‘lt was great going back home. I had forgotten changed in millennia — that Rob Roy and his clan ‘MIChael called me till alld 38*“ me it I "allied ‘0 how beautiful Scotland is and I’ve never seen the actually trudged those hills and would have seen P'aY "‘9 “astlest than in Scotland. He’s a salon ’ country captured on film like this before. The those views and marvelled at those sunsets. You animal. a SOPhlStlcaiB 0' the swimsIt COIM- "9 S actors were working against this fantastic don’t have to act that; it’s all there for you.’ described as havrng twenty faces, none of which backdrop that could never have been duplicated by are human. But. really. he’s iust a great believer special effects. I enjoy making films and, with Rob JESSICA LANGE - MARY MACGBEGOB that everyone should know and keep their place. Boll. I was not only able to direct a magnificent ‘My initial reaction was how rare it is to find a That in “58" is a code 0' honour-’ story. but I was doing something that allowed me scri t so beautifull written. What struck me — and to present my heritage to the rest or the world’ whai I think i liked ybest about it - was how purely "M 307“ ‘ WNN'NGHAM
male and female it was, full of love and lust, trust ‘He’s a top. He’s very fey, almost like a dame from
“AM NEESON " BOB m" and honour, sexuality and sensuality. Liam English pantomime, but lurking underneath is this ‘What drew me to the script was the romance; it embodies all of Rob’s physicality and rage, truly lethal sociopath. Making the swordplay look wasn’t just a swashbuckling adventure about men. tempered with tenderness, sweetness and easy takes a lot of hard work. it’s very physically fit the heart of this story was a powerful bond of sensuality - all those things that make Mary love demanding. It’s like learning a ballet; you rehearse love between Rob and his wife Mary and, for that him so much. I never had to strive to find those move by move and then put all the sequences
love, they are put to the test. It’s the stuff from characteristics in Liam, so it was very easy to play together. And then there’s homework . . . lots and which myths and legends naturally spring. It was a woman in love with him, a partner to him.’ lots of painful homework.’
The List 5-18 May i995 7