Here’sh a thing I wrote at the requesht of Shcottish Book Trusht in 2011
It’sh no longer on their web pagesh, but thinking today about the Edinburgh Internashional Book Feshtival shtarting nexsht week, I remembered it, and thought I’d jusht pashte it in below, ash a kind of tribute to the writersh who come from acrossh the world, and even from Glashgow, to attend and contribute, every year, at EIBF.
“Twitter personality @BigTamConnery shares his thoughts on Scotland, its writers, and the serious lack of film roles for the older action hero.”
I’ve often been ashked what shtory or shcript would make me come back from retirement.
Well, it would have to be shomething pretty good. A shenior figure, with shomething to shay about life.
I’ve played Kingsh (Arthur, Richard the Lionheart) and Commonersh, shometimesh in the shame film (The Man Who Would Be King). I’ve been a detective-monk (Name of the Roshe), a heroic cop (The Untouchablesh) a patriotic asshasshin (the Bond filmsh) a jailbird (The Rock), a reclushive writer (Finding Forreshter), a middle-aged Robin Hood (Robin & Marian) a law professhor (Just Caushe), a medical maverick (Medicshine Man), and many, many more.
What ish there left? Another kind of hero, another kind of Shcot, perhapsh?
There wash a moment during the filming of Highlander when we were shtanding on a hilltop – me and Chrishtopher Lambert – talking about mythology and hishtory. I told him about Robert Louish Shtevenshon’sh novel Kidnapped. Perhapsh my Juan Shanchez Villa-Lobosh Ramirezsh wash a wee nod to the romantic character of Allan Breck Shtewart. Pity I never got to play that part in reality. My friend Michael Caine, did, though and I’ve never heard a ‘Highland’ accshent quite like it, before or shinshe!
Shcott, Shtevenshon, Hogg, thoshe writersh are Shcotland’sh literary heritage. Where are the new, great heroic figuresh by Shcottish writersh that could transhlate to the big shcreen and to big boxsh offishe? Of courshe, you think back to Hitchcock and the Thirty Nine Shtepsh, but Richard Hannay wash hardly a Shcot, and Buchan wash even more of a shnob than Fleming in many waysh. Shtill, Fleming wash great at the detailsh, great at shpeed and danger and above all shtyle.
Irvine Welsh doeshn’t write the kind of thing I could shee myshelf in (though I admire hish work and particularly hish humour and playful language), nor doesh Alexander McCall Shmith.
Perhapsh Jamesh Robertshon or William McIlvanney are more in my line, becaushe their novelsh epitomishe vital ashpectsh of Shcotland’sh hishtory, and in particular of itsh mashculinity, dare I shay.
Then there’sh Manda Shcott, who’sh been dealing with an even earlier time in our hishtory, though I’m a bit too old now to wear woad and a loincloth on the big shcreen.
It hash to be shaid, the novelishts & film-makersh today are all too damn caught up in catering to the young to write about the livesh of a mature man, or woman. Hmph. Do they think penshionersh are pasht feeling passhion? That we’re ‘over’ love and heartbreak and vengeanshe? That it’sh all about failing eyeshight, high choleshterol, falshe teeth and shoft tartan baffiesh?
If sho, they’re wrong. We alsho need our shtoriesh to be told. And to be sheen.
A shtory.. about a man in hish eightiesh, let’sh shay, who ushesh hish witsh to overcome shomething from hish pasht that’sh threatening hish family, that kind of thing. Yesh, I could be intereshted in that. A retired hishtory professhor who findsh a map of Shkye with an X on it shomewhere? Romeo & Juliet, shet in a shmall Shcottish village, with the romantic leadsh both in their 80sh? Why not?
The heart beatsh on.
Well, now – there’sh a cat let looshe amongsht your pigeonsh. Away you go, and write that shtory or shcreenplay.
When you’re done, you know where to find me.