Ahead of the referendum in September, and as the country prepares for the Commonwealth Games, the spring issue of Spectator Life has a distinctly Scottish theme. In the spirit of Gerard Butler, Ewan McGregor, and James McAvoy, in what we affectionately term our ‘hot Scots’ feature, we put a spotlight on a new generation of Scottish actors who seem destined for equally great things, from Joanna Vanderham, star of The Paradise and the recent Henry James adaptation What Maisie Knew, to Laura Fraser of Breaking Bad and Richard Madden and Rose Leslie, who you may recognise from Game of Thrones. Also featured is Chloe Pirrie who first caught my eye at the Moët BIFAS – the indie equivalent of the BAFTAS – where she won the prestigious newcomer award.
Naturally, we took the opportunity to canvas their views on independence and happily they are on the whole an opinionated bunch. Rose Leslie eloquently expressed a conundrum for many a voter telling us ‘I do consider myself Scottish but I also feel very British.’ Meanwhile James McArdle who will play James I at the National Theatre later this year, lifts the lid on RADA’s approach to regional accents:-
‘My speech teacher said, “James, must you go home for Christmas?” When I said yes she said, “Then do listen to Radio 4.’’’
Now what would Alex Salmond say about that?
Whatever their views, at least the younger generation can be relied upon to express an opinion of some kind. For some reason Olympian Sir Chris Hoy has come over all coy on the subject of the referendum. The debate is ‘something I’m steering well clear of at the moment’ he told Freddy Gray – a curious media strategy for someone who has been quoted on the ‘Better Together’ website. You can read the full interview and get to know the hot Scots to watch in the new issue, out with the Spectator on 28 March. You can also read about the Scottish issue in tonight’s Londoner’s Diary in the Evening Standard.