KELLY MACDONALD FEATURE
If Kelly Macdonald took your breath away Diane, the sexually overactive schoolgirl in Trainspotting, she’s going to blow your head off in 1997. The Glaswegian actress who went from bar girl to cover girl virtually overnight is The List’s hot ticket for 1997. And if that isn’t enough, she’s kicking off a regular talentspotting slot, showcasing the nation’s most exciting new names in the arts, clubs and fashion. Watch this space . . .
elly Macdonald’s all-time favourite film is The Red Shoes and her favourite drink is a pint of lager. Her full name is ‘Kelly-Anne’. but as she explains. grimacing: ‘Only my physics teacher at Eastwood Secondary ever called me that.‘
Fiddling intently with her silver rings and flicking her perfectly groomed hair. Macdonald is your average twenty-year-old good-looking Glasgow girl — 5ft 3ins. groovy in a pair of fashion fooball boots and the owner of a Californian-bright set of straight teeth. To see that she defies the tag of ‘average weegie babe’ takes only a glance at her rather impressive cv. though. It testfies to a busy year since the role of Diane in Trainspotting springboarded her into the superleague of films. fashion shoots and most recently. nice period frocks.
The legendary ‘Are you the new Kate Moss or Patricia Arqttette‘?’ flycr that inspired a quivering. nervous barperson to audition in front of Trainspotting director Danny Boyle. is now deemed the starting point of Macdonald’s acting career. ‘Oooh nooo.’ protests the unassuming actress wincing at the ‘c’ word and covering her face. ‘Just say I’ve been acting recently.’
Since an eighteen-year-old Macdonald burst into tears on her mother’s living room pouffe after hearing She’d got the Trainspotting role. film sets have been part and parcel of her daily life. Yet. as an ‘untrained‘ actress. she is ambivalent about her precocious talent. ‘I Iind it quite difficult because if I’d gone to drama college I’d have a piece of paper that told people I was an actress.’ she says. ’But if you’ve just fallen into it. then . . .’ She shrugs. ‘I don’t know if I’ll still be doing all this in five years‘ time.‘
‘Nonsense girl!’ would be the sensible reply to this self-doubting Thomasina. For in the period of two Scottish shorts. a TV drama Flowers ()f The Forest. one grim but superb independent Iilm Stella Does Tricks (to be released later this year) and one blockbusting Hollywood feature C ottsin Bette, Macdonald has proved you don’t have to be an RSMAD or RADA alumni tojoin the respected ranks of movieland.
Of the as yet unreleased Stella. the unassuming Macdonald says quietly: ‘I felt privileged and proud to do that role. It really stretched me.’ The Iilm was written by Scottish author A. L. Kennedy — ‘Such a strong woman. I really liked her’ — and directed by Coky Giedroyc. with whom the burgeoning actress shared many an emotional scene when trying to capture the
brutality of being a teenage prostitute in London. ‘lt only really hit me at the wrap party when I got drunk really quickly and had to be taken home in a taxi.’ says Macdonald. “Stella is a lighter. She gets caught up in horrible situations and all these shit things happen to her, but she still manages to be funny and keep going.’
Though obviously pleased to have risen to the challenge of Stella. Macdonald jumped at the chance a week later to ‘wear nice frocks. have long hair. be in Bordeaux for two months and do a nice period drama’ in the movie adaptation of Balzac’s Cousin Bette. So how did she feel in the presence of co-stars Bob Hoskins and Jessica Lange? ‘My heart was racing when we did the read through.’ she enthuses. ‘l was dead impressed. but then I met them and it was fine. I didn’t have to call them Sir Bob or Lady Lange.’
So to the future — do London or LA. beckon? ‘No. I’m quite happy in Glasgow.’ she says. ‘I love it and it’s okay to commute to London once a fortnight to see people for work. Anyway. I’d only ever move to Brrr places.‘ Sorry? ‘Y’know. Bristol or Brighton.’
Sweet. discerning and refreshingly unpretentious. Kelly Macdonald is an actress with that elusive quality. ‘star potential’. written
Lizzie Francke (Festival Director) Recently appointed as Director of the Edinburgh lntemational Film Festival. 34-year-old Lizzie Francke follows Mark Cousins with strong film industry credentials. The London- born journalist - a frequent contributor to Sight & Sound - is the author of Script Girls. a well-
' received * x history of
in Hollywood. and also has a book on Jane . , Campion s The Piano in the pipeline.
Keeping a finger on the pulse of Scottish arts and events scene, The List picks a few more names to watch out for
in the coming year.
Neil McCann (Footballer)
For those who witnessed the performance of Heans‘ Neil McCann in November‘s Coca-Cola Cup final. it was a sharp reminder of
Nicola McCartney (Writer/Director)
Belfast-born Nicola McCartney will be back in Glasgow to direct her new play. The Hanging Tree. for LookOut Theatre — the company she co-formed in I994 — who are currently performing in London. McCartney has BBC and Traverse commissions in hand. and is working with Carlton Television on scripts for The Bill; and ‘ . Freeway Films on her
all over her. (Ann Donald)
Ross Sinclair (Artist) Orbiting higher and higher on the inter- national art scene is Glasgow boy Ross Sinclair. Frequently found stripped to the waist. revealing his bare back with ‘Real Life‘ tattooed across it. Sinclair was last year seen clambering around his astro-turfed
the good old days when wingers took :2 w ‘ I995 play installation ‘Real Life Rocky on and beat defenders before firing in 8 5 Easy. A Mountain‘ wearing just tartan shons a teasing cross. Craig Brown's call ‘ 5‘ Royal at Glasgow’s CCA. A refreshing will surely arrive this year for the 22- E National antidote to the rage for all things a la year-old who. during his spell at Theatre Brave/ream. he nevertheless offers a Dundee, impressed Kenny Dalglish. g . commission footnote to Scottish history. ‘The Tommy Burns and Jim McLean. has been Highland Clearances In Reverse‘ saw l: deferred him filling a hilly landscape with 2 until I998. papier maché figures.
The List I0-23 Jan I997 7