Scottish stars of The Angels’ Share steal the spotlight at Cannes Film Festival

Director Ken Loach took to the red carpet alongside the quartet of Scottish actors at the heart of The Angels’ Share, the critically acclaimed film concerning whisky which has been nominated for a prestigious Palme d’Or at this year’s French festival.

The Angels' Share marks Loach's 11th trip to Cannes, where he won the Palme d'Or in 2006 with The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

And Paul Brannigan, the untrained actor who stars in the director’s latest movie, has gone from being unemployed in a rough Glasgow neighbourhood to nude scenes with Scarlett Johansson.

Paul carries The Angels' Share as Robbie, a troubled lad who discovers he has a nose for fine whiskey. The movie, which was screened Tuesday at the Cannes Film Festival, follows Robbie and his jobless chums as they plot to get their hands on some priceless single malt.

Speaking the day after the festival premiere, the actor explained how his life took such an unexpected turn.

He said: "Well I'd never done any acting.

“"I was doing football coaching in the community and Paul (Paul Laverty, screenwriter) was doing research on the film and he just came a long one day and spoke to me and a group of boys.

“He asked me a bit about my background, and it kind of reflects Robbie's and thousands of kids in Scotland and worldwide. I think he saw something in me that day.”

Paul continued: “Then he came and me with Ken and asked me to go on an audition which I never went to, it just wasn't for me at the time and I just thought 'no.'

“And then Paul gave me a kick up the ass and said 'get your ass f***ing down here. You've got the possibilities of doing something you know.' And I went for it and I think I did maybe 10 or 20 auditions."

Since filming "The Angels' Share the young actor filmed a love scene with Johansson in Under the Skin, a forthcoming film about an alien who visits Scotland in human form.

Paul said: "I think I am just kind of level-headed you know.

"I just keep my feet on the ground, but all my mates and friends are like 'you don't realize how f*king big that is. You've been working with Scarlett Johansson’. And I am like 'yeah she's fine, she's a nice girl.' But she was lovely. You just take it as it comes really."

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