Scottish actors Brian Cox and Dougray Scott play father and son in BBC1's update of The Day of the Triffids which airs on December 28 and 29 at 9pm. Both actors were interviewed on the set a few months ago and you can read part of their interview below:
Cox was brought up in Dundee, while Scott hails from Glenrothes. "Dougray and I have a great affinity – we come from places just a few miles away from each other," says Cox, 63. "I'm from North of the Tay, he's from South of the Tay. That part of Scotland is very interesting. It's cut off from the rest of the country, almost as though they've forgotten about it. When you come from somewhere like that, it instantly binds you.
"People brought up in that area are very dry and comical. Dougray absolutely has that – he has a great wit and a very gentle quality about him. My part of the world is very similar – and we hit it off immediately."
There was, according to Cox, only one bone of contention between him and his co-star. "Dougray plays golf, which to me is a good walk spoilt. I did once try to play, but the idea of trying to get a little ball into a tiny hole defeated me.
"We found a happy compromise when we were both invited to Gleneagles recently. Dougray played golf, and I discovered skeet shooting, which I loved. However, I have to reveal that I did see Ben Hogan win the Open at Carnoustie in 1953, so I still think I'm one up on Dougray."
Golf aside, the actors' evident bond made it much easier for the pair to play father and son in The Day Of The Triffids. "It's so helpful to have that rapport at once," continues Cox. "You have a shorthand right away. We share the same language. We even put a few 'ayes' into the script that were absent before.
...When we meet, Scott is taking a break from shooting a scene in post-apocalyptic north London. Bill has been holed up in a ruined pub near Lord's Cricket Ground and has been stumped by the scenes of mass devastation all around him.
Wearing a battered old leather jacket, dirty trousers and scuffed shoes, Scott has a livid red (prosthetic) scar down his temple from an earlier close encounter with a Triffid. He looks like a renegade from Mad Max.
"This drama has great resonance," says the 44-year-old actor. "It reflects the way things are going with the environment. People are now saying that we've reached a critical moment – that is certainly stated very clearly in An Inconvenient Truth," he says, referring to the film about Al Gore's climate change campaign. "Very soon the damage we have done will be irreversible. So we'd better sit up and take notice.
"In this drama, the Triffids' oil appears to have saved the human race from an energy crisis. But ironically, it also causes our destruction, because the Triffids have been genetically modified. Mother Nature is now working hand in hand with the Triffids to say, 'this is your punishment for screwing up the planet'."
"This drama is in many ways an ecological scream of despair, a reaction against the harm we've wreaked on the planet," chips in Cox. "Science is very simple – it's all about cause and effect. You reap what you sow." [Scotsman.com]