He plays the part of a seedy copper, who is a racist and misogynist, so it’s no surprise Scottish star James McAvoy described the role of Bruce Robertson in his latest film Filth as “probably the biggest risk of my career”.
But when he spoke to STV’s Grant Lauchlan, the star revealed that he wouldn’t have turned the part down for anything.
“I think I said that offhand in one interview and it’s become the thing I always say,” the actor said. [But]”It’s as much of a risk as anything is a risk because you never know if anything is going to be good or not. But this is probably the best script I’ve ready in the last two or three years.
“And why wouldn’t it be? It’s from the mind of Irvine Welsh, as seen through Jon Baird, and Irvine Welsh’s voice is so unique, so important culturally I think – not just in Scotland, but there’s no one like him in the world. It’s no wonder it’s such a strong script.”
He added: “For those reasons I don’t think it’s that big a risk…and if I’m rotten in it nobody’s going to say I can’t work again – or maybe if I’m that bad I’ll never work again!”
Adapted from the Irvine Welsh book of the same name, the movie tells the story of a policeman who manipulates his way through the festive season in a bid to secure promotion and win back his wife and daughter.
Describing the movie as “dark” as well as “strange, interesting and funny”, the actor explained a little more about the character of Bruce Robertson.
“He’s not somebody you want to be, he’s not somebody you’d want to know… if you see somebody manipulate and corrupt and abuse and all these things then ultimately you want to see them get their comeuppance, and without giving too much away you probably get that in this as well.”
Several of the scenes for the film have been shot in Scotland, and it’s something McAvoy would like to see happening a lot more in the country – particularly with British movies.
Speaking about the recent boom of movies being shot in the country – such as Brad Pitt movie World War Z – James said: “The big movies have been coming in from America and using Scottish locations.
“And that’s fantastic but I think it’s always important to harness our own artistic output to create stuff made here, for here, by us, as well, and that’s what this is, and that’s the other side.
”Everybody’s been talking about World War Z coming here and taking over George Square; and I don’t get me wrong that’s amazing and long may Hollywood money pour into Glasgow, but we also need to do stuff for us by us for us.”
After Filth, McAvoy says he plans to take a holiday, but also hinted that working on a future X Men movie might be in the pipeline too.
He told Grant: “We were very pleased with it [the last X Men movie], it got received very well and we were surprised in a nice way just how well it went down, because those kinds of films don’t usually go down that well.
”The desire from us and the studio is there to make another one, it’s just about coming up with a good enough story to warrant it.”