We haven't seen her on the big screen since Trainspotting, but
I KELLY MACDONALD has kept herself busy. So much so, in fact, that she has just left the family home in Glasgow for London.
lN STELLA DOES TRICKS. Kelly Macdonald‘s character leaves (.‘ilasgow for London and finds that the streets are paved. not with gold. but psychotic pimps. macho thugs and sweet-faced. treacherous junkies.
Recently. the Zl-year-old Macdonald herself
left Glasgow for London. ls she mad'.’
Two years ago. Macdonald barged her way into the collective unconscious along with the four other members of the Trainspotting team in that poster. Her performance. though small. deserved notice: as Diane. the cocky schoolgirl who drags Ewan McGregor into bed. she defined a Girl Power that had nothing to do with Wonderbras. After that. she popped up in the Screen Two drama Flowers ()f The Forest and filmed Stella Does Tricks. Since then. the roles have been pouring in -— she has worked with Kathy Burke. Jessica Lange. Hugh Hudson. Mike Figgis and even Eric Cantona (on Elizabeth I) — but we haven't seen her on the big screen.
Now Stella has finally been released — a bleak. tenderly sly take on prostitution that makes Neil Jordan‘s Mona Lisa look like a sentimental pudding and. thanks to Macdonald's extraordinarily mature performance. leaves your heart battered and bruised. So. is it new—found success that‘s made Macdonald decide to move to London'.’ The girl in question. paler than Snow White after a night of ‘too much drinking and smoking‘. smiles and shakes her head.
‘It was a lot of things. but one reason was I was finding it hard to keep links with people I met through work.’ she explains. "l‘he relationship would stop when the film did and that made me feel l was a rubbish person. Now I'm down here I can carry those relationships through.‘
Macdonald knew the change wouldn‘t be easy. however. When she came south to do publicity for Trainspotting. she stayed at Ewen ‘Spud' Bremner‘s flat. ‘London was this big scary place I didn‘t know at all.‘ she says.
sounding most unlike the bold heroine of
Stella. ‘I didn’t let him leave my side.’ Bremner's still keeping an eye on her.
‘When he heard I‘d got a flat. he said. "Okay.
where is it‘.’“.' she giggles. ‘He came over and
immediately started buzzing about. looking in the kitchen. looking in the bedrooms. sort of checking everything out. Then he came downstairs and went. “Yes. it‘s fine”.‘
.‘vlacdonald may enjoy playing little girl lost. but she clearly appreciates London's anonymity. ‘Because Ewen‘s so particular looking.‘ she grins. we can‘t really go anywhere without people staring at him. but nobody takes the blindest bit of notice of me.‘
Macdonald may be miles away now. but her ties with Glasgow remain strong. ‘Mum’ is a word constantly on her lips. Asked to describe herself. she immediately says ‘cocky with my
mum' and. catching sight of a photograph of
herself. gasps 'l look so like my mum there'. The two are on the phone constantly. Macdonald was back up in Glasgow for Christmas and. the
Words: Charlotte O'Sullivan
night of her return to London. her mother phoned to check she'd got back safely.
So. for Macdonald at least. London hasn't proved a den of iniquity. more a home from home. And just how painless the move has been
’Because Ewen Bremner is so particular looking, we can’t really go anywhere without. people staring at him, but nobody takes the blindest bit of notice of me.’ Kelly Macdonald
becomes clear when she accidentally says ‘I came downstairs . . . I mean. down to London‘. She chuckles. ‘Well. London is downstairs from Glasgow . . . ‘ It just seems this particular actress hasn‘t changed cities. she's just changed rooms.
Stella Does Tricks opens at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Fri 23 Jan and Edinburgh Filmhouse on Fri 30 Jan. See review, page 39.
23 Jan—5 :a; l998THELIST 27 l