Scots actor Martin Compston reveals his motivation behind latest controversial onscreen roles
He plays a sex pest in a controversial pop video and is preparing for a backlash when he puts the seedy life of Glasgow criminal Paul Ferris on the silver screen this August.
But if you’re looking for an apology from Martin Compston, forget it. The 28-year-old’s most recent work sees him appear in the video for Dundee band The View’s current single, How Long.
It follows a sex addict on a dark night of the soul, which starts with him watching porn on the internet and ends with him looking remorseful with blood on his hands, having ogled women – and men – in the streets during a booze-fuelled haze.
The video drew criticism upon release, with Glasgow’s Women’s Support Project calling it “a cliched, cynical strategy to gain publicity and a chance for self-promotion” – which you might say is exactly what the actor and his house-mate, The View’s singer/songwriter Kyle Falconer, wanted.
Martin said: “It’s no surprise, we knew there would be some controversy over it.
“Controversy’s what we wanted, in fact. Unless you’re Coldplay, no bands get their music videos played on the music channels anymore. It’s all Rihanna. So we said, ‘If videos aren’t being shown, then let’s do something shocking that will get it talked about’.
“I’m aware it has caused a lot of anger, and fair enough, there are certain issues you can’t muck around with.
“But I hope people see the video before they comment on it. It’s about the deterioration of the character’s mind. You never see him with a girl at any point, there’s no nudity, no violence, no rape.”
The brouhaha offers him a dry run at handling difficult questions. Come August, when The Wee Man – in which he plays criminal Paul Ferris – is released, he’ll probably do little else.
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