Kelly MacDonald. Trainspotting’s Diane. has landed her first major lead role as a teenage prostitute in Ste/la Does Tricks. Fiona Shepherd
went on set.
'l‘herc hay e been brushes with bad comedians in these pages before. but possibly none l/lly‘ bad. He combines an uncharismatic presence with latne material and an ill—ady ised sily cry -grey stage suit. llis patter falls on tnainly dcafears. but he has one fan a young girl w ho listens with wide-eyed enthusiasm as a daughter would to a father‘s stories. But. then. he is her father.
()y er the course of a lunchtime. ten years or so pass and he's still doing the same routine to the same indifferent audience. lly now he’s lost the trousers but the suit jacket remains. .~\ young woman watches from the bar. ’l‘here's been a lot of water under the bridge since she w as that happy innocent. and the man on stage w ill shortly feel the force of her wrath as he becomes one of the \ ictitns in her systematic campaign of reyenge.
The two scenes being shot form part of the (ilasgow segment of a new feature. Sir/la Dues 'Ii‘it'ks. w rittcn by noyelist .r\.l.. Kennedy (her first feature-length screenplay ) and starring 'li'ttinxym/liitg‘s Kelly .‘ylaclionald in the title role as a child prostitute in London w ho returns briefly to her natiye Glasgow to c\act reyenge on. atnong others. the abusiye father who caused her to rttn off to the Big Smoke in the first place
"l’he tricks of the title are not actually the tricks she‘s turning. it's the tricks that she's doing on
; the first week of filtning took the crew all (wet
pcople.‘ explains Kennedy. ‘(ienerally speaking the last words people say before they‘re obliterated or in art accident is “oh shit" because that's all you can think of. so she has this rule that she will make people say “oh shit". That‘s her rey enge.‘
The Arches in central (ilasgow proy ides the set for the interior of the cabaret club which Stella‘s lather has played for years tw hile sensibly not giy ing up his day job) and the extras doing a conyincing job of ignoring his routine are all regulars from the (irand ()le ()pry. 'l‘he shoot has now nioyed to London. bttt
e \ l I‘ltttt'tlllittt‘y'
'li'tttttyymllmg (ilasgow. modest). ‘lt would be a diftercnt film if you were doing it in
any other city'.‘ says co-producer :\tigus Lamont. whose prey ious credits include The Snow Show and '/'/t(' .iltmrn Shun. ‘()riginally the person the story was based on wasn‘t frotn (ilasgow. but once .»\.l.. Kennedy came on hoard. she stamped (ilas‘goyy really clearly met the script and the main character.‘ Kennedy was first approached by director ('oky (iiedroy c to adapt one of her own short stories on a similar thetne. Kennedy decided to start from scratch with a completely new storyline which would work
‘All the time i was writing it. mind was “who the hell do we Kennedy. ‘\\'hat we wanted was something you can‘t get by practising and just the look of her. her mice and the physical si/.e of her is ideal for what the filth is talking about
t Kelly MacDonald in Trainspotting guise
better in a feature film fortnat. 'lt‘s one of the tnost
first draft screenplays l‘y'e every read.‘ Adam Barker. ‘lt leapt right offthc
page. brilliant dialogue and utterly economical in the way it tells the story.‘
()thet' ‘fn'sts' is the first film to receiye finance frotn the Scottish .-\rts ('ouneil Lottery Fund (in conjunction witlt ('hannel 4. the RH and the Scottish Film Production liundl and the first major role (she may haye featured heayily in the
include the fact that Ste/Ia Dom 'I'rt't'ks casting of Kelly MacDonald in her publicity but her
actual part was
in the back of my
get to play it'."" says
if you are yulncrable. you will be
And if you tell tasteless anti-female se\ jokes. you will be tnade to say ‘oh shit' in no uncertain
Sic/lit Does Tricks liars/H's shun/tire Ill June.
Looking very slender and chic in jeans and jacket, Bridget Fonda boasts a gentle, freckled radiance and an immaculate Veronica Lake haircut. Looking this good, one wonders if she has to work out and diet. ‘Well . . . yes,’ she admits. ‘I didn’t use to, but I’ve gotta say, I hit 30 and now I do.’ Her latest films - City Hall, released a few weeks ago, and the forthcoming magic-realist love story Rough Magic
Bridget Fonda in Rough Magic
— are chalk and cheese, the first a big studio affair, the second tiny and ‘definitely different’.
‘lt’s just what interests me,’ she says of her career choices. ‘If I read it and think, “I can do something with this” or “this is add, it makes me nervous”, it’s worth investigation. With Rough Magic, it was more about how you maintain yourself and let somebody in, and therefore achieve this maturity . . . sexual maturity I should really say. Or maybe I shouldn’t.’
City Ila/I was a less personal project, but the actress claims to be happy with the way her roles have been cut in both films, though she’s never content with a performance. Perhaps this perfectionism stems from being a Fonda - auntie Jane, dad Peter,
' grandpa Henry. ‘It might be,’ she
agrees. ‘It I look back at my family, I think The Grapes 0t Wrath! It’s an exhausting prospect to think that I’m never going to make a John Ford film.’
She’s proved pretty robust, though, braving monsoon conditions while running a temperature of 102 during Rough Magic and in that film, as well as Single White Female and The Assassin, playing the resilient protagonist with the men in support. So after Al Pacino in City Hall, would she like to continue playing opposite leading lads? ‘l’d take De Niro,’ she laughs. ‘I’ve got no problem with that.’ (Gio MacDonald)
Rough Magic opens at the Cameo, Edinburgh, on Fri 17.
The List l7-30 May I996 27