Sunday, 19 February 2012

Adam Sinclair feared he was too old for 'Ecstacy'

Scottish actor Adam Sinclair: I feared delays would mean I was too old to star in Ecstasy

He may be part of one of Hollywood's greatest acting dynasties, but Tinseltown's next leading man feared he would end up too old for his first headline movie role - after six years of delays. East Kilbride's Adam Sinclair stars in Ecstasy, the long-awaited adaptation of the Irvine Welsh chemical romance. And the role is tipped to make him Scotland's next major movie star export.

Not that Hollywood holds any surprises for him - he's married to Kiefer Sutherland's stepdaughter Michelle, the couple have two kids and he has lived there for almost 11 years. But Adam feared he would miss out on what looks like being his breakthrough part thanks to the crippling series of disasters that befell the movie, as the Sunday Mail revealed in 2011.

He said: "This is my first big lead movie so it is exciting and hopefully the next chapter. I have had a lot of years playing various roles in British TV - I started on Boyz Unlimited with James Corden in 1999 - and there was a fear of getting stuck on the small screen.

 "I auditioned for the film and didn't hear anything for two years, then got a call. It was another four years on that we got to camera.
"I was worried I'd outgrow the part - there was a lot of night cream and sleeping in Tupperware.
"It would be wonderful if the film got me to leading man status but that is not for me to decide.
"It is nice to hear that Rob Heydon, the director, feels my performance will do that and Irvine Welsh was complimentary about me too.
"He said recently that he saw the latest cut and he started to see the characters he had written as us, which is amazing. I did my best.
"If it takes me on to other things, fantastic - if not I just try harder on the next thing."

Rob originally wanted to shoot Ecstasy in Scotland, but the film's funding collapsed and there was no government support so they ended up making most of it in Canada. Lead actress Lisa Ray was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer, which meant she pulled out, to be replaced by Smallville's Kristin Kreuk. But Adam was desperate to stay attached to the film, along with co-stars like Billy Boyd, because of the chance to star in an Irvine Welsh film.

"I kept in touch with Rob and he was telling me about the money, then Lisa Ray got cancer - thank goodness she is recovering now.
"Then after all that, the politics of funding in the UK changed - overnight Gordon Brown changed the rules so our funding collapsed.
"I was in drama school when Trainspotting came out, it was the first time Scotland put itself on the map in the film industry in the modern world. Then I was lucky enough to do a voiceover part in Maribou Stork Nightmares.
"Ecstasy came up at just the right time. After the audition, reading the script, there were so many parallels to things in my life - his relationships, his family, the clubbing - I thought I may as well give it up if I didn't get the part."

It would be easy to be bitter about the lack of support in the UK for Ecstasy, given that Welsh's Filth is currently shooting in Glasgow with a star cast including James McAvoy and Alan Cumming.
But Adam insists he doesn't feel that way at all - he's just proud of his own film.

"If I sat and thought, 'why couldn't I have that?', I'd be grey, old and bitter. How many times do you go for a role and miss out? It's the same.
"I was at drama school with James, we were tipped as the big stars and then boom, he goes off into the stratosphere. If I got bitter about stuff like that I'd have given up years ago.
"I am happy it seems to be the year of Irvine Welsh.
"He has written a TV show for HBO about bare knuckle fighters and is doing the prequel book to Trainspotting, called Skag Boys.
"There's our movie, and they're making Filth. I'm curious to see how they do it, it is interesting casting.
"It is frustrating, of course, that it is hard at times to get things made in Scotland, as it's a small industry. 

Those who work there are hanging on to it as much as they can so outsiders like Rob find it really hard.
"Certainly harder, I'd imagine, than for Irvine turning up with James McAvoy and Alan Cumming! But no, I am not upset and I wish them all the best."

Of course, Ecstasy will be compared to Trainspotting, and Adam feels it holds its own.

"They are big shoes to fill. We're talking Danny Boyle, who is about to direct the opening ceremony of the Olympics and won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire.
"Whereas this is Rob's first feature film, he's done music videos in the past.
"We are not trying to be another Trainspotting but I think Irvine's voice comes through. Everyone will want to make me the new Renton but you have to take the movie in its own right and at the same time appreciate the on TV feared nods to Irvine and Trainspotting.
"Our film is not as stylised, it's more modern and faster-paced.
"There's a music video feel to it as it is about dance culture more than just the drugs, which are obviously involved too. It has to stand on its own though. We made our movie and I hope it is appreciated. I am certainly proud of it."

Whatever happens with Ecstasy, Adam is unlikely to be surprised. Because his father-in-law is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, he has a totally unique perspective for an actor on the rise. But Adam has been determined never to ask Kiefer or his father Donald for help in getting work - and hopes he will never have to.

"You realise that everyone wonders if they will work again - even very experienced actors like those in my family.
"After 30 or 40-year careers, they have those doubts. I see the business in its entirety from the upper echelons to lower minions, the whole spectrum.
"By the same token I never ask for work, I don't try to get on their shows or anything they are doing. It is too easy for people to point the finger - I'm doing it in my own right.
"It has been a very conscious thing not to ask for help. I was very cautious and don't know if I had to prove myself but as soon as I was involved with that family, my next good job would have had people saying, 'alright for some'.
"I am not in this for money or fame, it's the only thing I have ever wanted to do.
"I am still doing it, still learning. The ego goes when you have kids, it's not about that at all.
"I am doing OK so I don't need to go there in asking for help. Maybe one day I will but at the moment I'd rather not. I think I have earned respect from not going there too."

Luckily Adam didn't face the nightmare scenario, as a new boyfriend and a struggling actor, of being brought home to meet her dad for the first time - and walking in to find screen icon Jack Bauer of 24.

"When I first met my wife, I was making a film with Kiefer, To End All Wars. He was my drinking buddy first - he had seen me in action so told me to stay away from his daughter!
"It's great though, he's grandpa to the kids and he's filming his latest show in Culver City where we live, so we see him a lot.
"It's nice having that buddy relationship where we can go for a beer, but there's now the parental relationship, especially with the kids.
"He's their grandpa - my dad passed away and Michelle's real dad did a long time ago.
"Because of the family, Michelle gets it, they all do - if I am away a lot or going through a hectic time in the business, they understand and we have their support."

Adam's perspective on the movie industry also means he is realistic about an actor's career expectations - so he is already moving into directing.

"My accountant told me that, from the business side, an actor gets 10 years if you are good, that is the truth. If you get more and run to 20 or 30, you are out ahead of the rest. So you have to grow. In London, I had my own theatre company, Jockney Productions, did a few plays, then I did some Discovery Channel stuff as assistant director which was cool.
"It is such a big vehicle to steer but exciting because of that, a much more creative process. It is so exciting. I have a few projects I am working on at the moment.
"Michelle and I are making a documentary about her dad, Terry Kath, who was lead guitarist of the band Chicago and passed away in the 70s. Jimi Hendrix is quoted as saying Terry was a better guitarist than him.
"So we are making this film about my wife discovering her dad's legacy. I love that.
"Then I have a film idea too, which I won't say much about - it will be very interesting to the Scottish people, I'll tell you that much.
"A lot of 'what next' depends on how Ecstasy goes really, what doors it opens. I just want people to see who I am as an actor.
"For years I played Will in Mile High, this bleach blond very gay trolly dolly - and still, both people in the street and casting directors, think that is me. Hopefully the film changes those perceptions that I'm the TV guy."

Source: Daily Record

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