Scotland the Brave: Top 5 Scottish Actors

EXPOSITION: My alma mater was founded by the Presbyterian Church in 1872.  Since the Presbyterian Church was founded in Scotland, my school has always paid tribute to those roots by having a Scottish Heritage program.  Chances of hearing bagpipes on an average day at Lyon College: 100%. At gradutation, there was no "Pomp and Circumstance" for us; it was always "Scotland the Brave." The school has its own tartan, pipe and drum band and highland dancers. The sports teams are the Scots (boys) and Pipers (girls). These are regular, year-round attributes, but in April Scottish Festival hits and the campus goes into Scottish overdrive. Clans, concerts, vendors, games, competitions and more kilts than the movie Braveheart.

Anyway, that's what I did this past weekend. And so in honor of such a rich cultural experience (yet again), I give you my favorite Scottish actors.

5. Gerard Butler
I feel the need to defend this choice. It's just that I love 300 and RocknRolla. I think Butler can be funny and charming at whatever he does, but unfortunately he just tends to do shit. If he can avoid the Heigls and Anistons (and American accents) of Hollywood, maybe he could get back on track.


4. Kelly Mcdonald
I didn't quite discover Kelly with the rest of the world, since I just watched Trainspotting for the first time a few months ago, but she caught my eye a few years back and every time I see her in something else, I like her more (The Girl in the Cafe is a must). And I'm really looking forward to her leading voice work in Brave this summer.


3. Ewan McGregor
Despite my lack of a Trainspotting acquaintenance until this year, I've been very familiar with Mr. McGregor for many years now. It's always nice to see a good looking charmer dare to mix it up and actually rely on talent, and he's never been afraid to do that.


2. James McAvoy
I swear, I didn't do this list just for him. Half the time I forget he's even Scottish because he's either playing an Englishman or an American. But if you if know anything about Jess and me, you know he's one of our favorites and we've seen all his films. Now if only he'd make some more...


1. Sean Connery
Because it's the law and to say otherwise is probably punishable by eating a big helping of haggis.


Actors I had no idea were Scots (which is why they didn't make the list): Shirley Henderson, David Tennant, Robbie Coltrane and Brian Cox. Mind blown.

Sound Off: Who'd I leave out?

10 comments:

  1. Very cool list. When I got to #2 (after already assuming Connery was on the list) I said out loud - BULLSHIT, who could possibly be #1. Makes sense and definitely mind blown. I would add Kevin McKidd (also in Trainspotting). He's really sweet on Grey's Anatomy (don't pretend you're surprised I still watch it).

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    1. I actually haven't seen McKidd in too much, having never seen an ep of Grey's. For some reason I thought Sean Bean was Scottish, but he's not, so that discovery made me a little sad.

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  2. Billy Boyd (Pippin) of the Lord of the Rings. John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) of Torchwood (BTW, his middle name is Scot!) was born in Scotland and immigrated to the USA as a child. And even though he isn't an actor, I still have to give a shout out to Gordon Ramsay. Like Mike Myers used to say on SNL, "If it's not Scottish, it's CRAP!!!".

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    1. "We don't use that name in this kitchen. It's bad luck to say it out loud. Just call him 'The Scottish Chef.'"

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  3. Also, Robert Carlyle (I thought he was Irish!), Billy Connolly (who was wonderful in HER MAJESTY, MRS. BROWN) and the late Deborah Kerr.

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    1. I thought Carlyle was Irish too. I considered Connolly, but I really haven't seen enough of his work.

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  4. Yeah, I think you need to defend your Butler pick, too. 300 may be great fun (and RockNRolla is pretty good), but enough to oust Brian Cox (take your excuses! ;) )? No way.

    I guess I'd end up going with Connery as well - mostly out of peer pressure, but also because he's deserving - but Ewan would be my #2, for his Scottish rant in Trainspotting alone ("We're worse than the Brits! They're just wankers! We're colonized by wankers!" - I'm paraphrasing and going from memory...).

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    1. If I had made this list a decade ago, Ewan would've been in the No. 2 spot for sure, but outside of The Ghost Writer, I haven't been terribly impressed with his career lately.

      Funny you mention Brian Cox: I'm watching him in Match Point right now. Still no clue that he's Scottish ;)

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  5. Had to post the full quote, it's so awesome:

    "It's SHITE being Scottish! We're the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some hate the English. I don't. They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONIZED by wankers. Can't even find a decent culture to be colonized BY. We're ruled by effete assholes. It's a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL the fresh air in the world won't make any fucking difference!"

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    1. This makes me laugh since I've seen countless Americans desperately wishing/pretending they were Scottish!

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