From Proclaimers to Potter, and the East Neuk of Fife

It is rare for a Hollywood actor to travel to the East Neuk to support a local development trust '“ but that is exactly what Sunshine on Leith and Fantastic Beasts actor Kevin Guthrie is doing on Friday.
Kevin GuthrieKevin Guthrie
Kevin Guthrie

The actor, based in Glasgow, will be appearing at Dreel Halls in Anstruther, helping raise funds for the Arncroach and Carnbee Community Development Trust.

So why is a Hollywood actor supporting a small development trust in the East Neuk?

The answer is family.

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One of the members of the organisation is Tom Crozier, a cousin of Kevin’s dad.

“They have been good to me and my family over the years,” Kevin explained. “We are very close.”

At the fundraiser, Kevin will be talking about his burgeoning career and introduce Sunshine of Leith, before answering questions.

Kevin explained: “Sunshine on Leith has given me this platform to go out and send messages, through charity work or helping groups.

“It’s something I’m passionate about.

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“It’s a film that still reverberates up and down the country. It’s terrific to be associated with something like that.”

The film, which features songs from The Proclaimers catalogue, was a break-out moment for Kevin.

Five years on from its release, it remains just as popular.

“I think so much of it is the authenticity of the world – even though it has songs,” Kevin said. “The characters are very genuine.

“And also think seldom do we show Scotland in such a positive light. That resonates with people.

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“It does have a bit of depth and darkness – with my character in particular.

“The film has a bit of everything, and is also has strong music and was well shot.”

Since that break-out role, Kevin has appeared in several popular TV shows and hit films, including Dunkirk, Two Doors Down, and the 2016 remake of Whisky Galore.

In his latest film, Edie, he stars alongside Sheila Hancock.

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The film follows Edith Moore (Hancock) who, following the death of her husband and concerned about a possible future in a nursing home, decides to tackle a climbing trip in the Scottish Highlands.

During this expedition she comes across Jonny and the pair become unlikely pals.

“Edie is more about humanity. It could be set anywhere – as long as there is a huge mountain,” Kevin said.

“It’s about the ideas of loneliness and companionship regardless of age, geography etc.

“It’s based on two unlikely souls becoming soulmates.

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“Edie is more attuned to character, identity – Sunshine on Leith is more an ensemble and a celebration of an idea of family and coming together.

“Edie is more about bringing two individuals together.”

While Kevin is already building up a strong filmography, arguably the biggest film he has starred in yet is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in which he starred as Abernathy.

Kevin, a self-proclaimed Potter fan, described his role as a “dream come true”.

However, that was not the end of his role in the Potter-verse.

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Abernathy will be returning in the upcoming sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

“In the first film there was a bit of premise about setting up Abernathy,” Kevin explained.

“It shows he is in the woodwork in the Magical Congress of the United States of America. He is a bit of a jobsworth, and he’s not been given the chance to break the glass ceiling. In this film we find that ceiling has been shattered.

“We find him in a space that unlikely for a character like that. It’s a more substantial role. It’s a more rewarding story, and I was aware of that from the get go.

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“With the job, you become part of the Harry Potter universe. It’s a dream come true. I’m a huge fan. To be offered another film and more material was very special.’’

Kevin has also just starred in AMC TV show, The Terror, which has been earning great reviews.

Starring Ciaran Hinds, it follows two real-life war ships which are sent on a naval exhibition to find the treacherous Northwest Passage. Kevin plays Henry Pegler on HMS Terror.

While Kevin is beginning to appear more regularly in bigger-budget TV shows and films, he says he wants to be “recognised as a high-calibre actor rather than someone who was famous or who had an overnight hit”.

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He added: “Up until Dunkirk and Fantastic Beasts, it was about how to get to a platform to be seen as a leading male or an ensemble lead.

“But it always comes down to the source material. You read some scripts and you think ‘wow’.

“More recently there have been phone calls like ‘we’d love you to play this part’. That’s nice and rewarding.’’

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