Robbie Coltrane voices one of the lead parts in Brave, a movie that focuses on what it takes to make courageous choices in life. But what would the Scot say was his bravest act in his own 62 years?
“I did once save a guy’s life by pulling him out from under a truck which was moving off. He’d fallen asleep – he’d had a few too many sherries at lunch - and he was lying between the two back wheels and arctic [of a truck]. I heard the engine start and in a microsecond I had to decide ‘do I have time to go up and bang on the door before he moves off – probably not because it was a 40-footer’ – so I had to go in between the wheels and grab him and pull him out.
“The truck pulled off and he went ‘what the hell are you doing pulling my bloody feet?’. No good deed goes unpunished!
"Somebody subsequently told him what I did and I met him 10 years later and he was like ‘you’re that guy who saved me life’.”
Robbie, well known for his role as Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies, takes on an altogether different character in his latest part, playing the cantankerous Lord Dingwall in the Disney Pixar spectacular, which opened in Scotland last week.
“My character is a very ill natured, middle-aged Scotsman. You can imagine what a stretch it was,” Robbie joked.
“They are basically warlords. Some parts of the world are still run that way, where you have a tribe, you have a clan – and he’s the head of his clan. And he has a rather small son who is rather an embarrassment to him as he is a big hefty guy. Basically they have a contest to see who is going to win the hand of the princess [Merida] in an archery thing. And she doesn’t like this at all, so says can I have a go, and she hits the absolute spot that goes through another arrow - Robin Hood style.”
The actor added: “The plot twists and it becomes something completely different and gets into all sorts of mystical and magical things, and that’s when I think it takes off.”
Set in the Highlands, in a mythical setting, Brave is expected to inspire enthusiasm among viewers who will no doubt want to witness Scotland’s stunning landscapes for themselves. Estimations are being made that the film could help boost the economy by £140 million, and Robbie agrees that the animated tale could provide a great boost for the country.
“I think it will be wonderful for Scotland. I think because they got it right; nobody will watch this and fall in Scotland and be disappointed when they get to Scotland. It’s real, they’ve got what’s beautiful about Scotland.”
Brave is out in Scotland now and will hit cinemas around the rest of the UK from August 13.
MORE BRAVE TALES:
- Emma Thompson (Queen Elinor) talks about her love for Scotland
- Kelly Macdonald - aka Princess Merida - says Brave blew her mind
- Much more on Brave