Filming of the true-life story of former gangster Paul Ferris has already hit headlines in Scotland – but its star Martin Compston has told STV that people should see the movie first before casting judgement.
The Greenock-born actor is currently appearing in Piggy, which is in cinemas and sees him star as a mild-mannered young man drawn into a world of vengeance when his brother is murdered.
The Wee Man is set for release on August 1, and tackling the lead role as Paul Ferris was always going to create waves – with the former gangster’s story already familiar to many of those who hail from north of the border.
Of the true-life tale, Martin told us: “I knew it. I had read the books before I was offered the part.
“I understand it [the controversy]. It is in some ways very sensitive, and I understand a lot of families have been through a lot of hurt.
“Hopefully we don’t really offend anyone, but it’s such a controversial subject that not everyone was going to be happy.”
He added: “I just hope people remember it’s a film, and not a documentary.
“I think some people, in some quarters, went a wee bit overboard already without even having seen it.”
Talking about the role, Martin continued: “Purely in acting terms, it was a great part for me to get. Growing up on the west coast, especially there but anywhere in Scotland you know the story.
“I still remember seeing Paul walking out of court after the Arthur Thompson trial. I remember watching it on the news, so to actually play that moment, it’s slightly trippy but in some ways it’s really enjoyable.”
Having already told us about Piggy and also the adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Filth, Martin also mentioned his other project coming out this year: “Towards the end of this I’ve got the TV show I did for the BBC, with Vicky McLure from This Is England, Lennie James, Gina McKee, Adrian Dunbar and Neil Morrissey.
“It’s five-part, one-hour dramas, and I was chuffed to get it really, because I’ve never had a lead in that size of show, while also being cast as a middle-class, English copper. So I’m excited about it, and hopefully once it comes out it’ll be a change again. It’s been a great 16 months, and hopefully everything just keeps going forward.”
- Piggy is in cinemas from this weekend and out on DVD from May 21
- Watch the trailer for Piggy