Born in Stobhill Hospital in Springburn on 17th May 1962, Craig Ferguson’s life journey so far has taken him through the worlds of music, acting, writing and stand-up comedy to become one of America’s best known talk show hosts. Alongside regularly interviewing the biggest names in Hollywood, he retains an active movie career of his own.
Raised in Cumbernauld, both the North Lanarkshire new town and the city of his birth appear to have remained close to his heart across the miles – where he now resides in California as the host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. This was no more evident than in 2012 when Ferguson brought a host of Hollywood names to both Glasgow and Cumbernauld to record a week’s worth of The Late Late Show episodes. During these broadcasts he showcased Glasgow rock band The Imagineers to the massive American audience and this trend for highlighting Scottish talent has continued as recently as last week, with the Daily Record reporting that he had booked Glasgow’s Roddy Hart and his band The Lonesome Fire to appear on the show in Los Angeles. Scottish guests on The Late Late Show are a regular occurrence and as noted previously on this blog one show saw Ferguson and friend and one-time band-mate Peter Capaldi recall tales of wild times on Havelock Street.
Between his time in the band Dreamboys with Capaldi and his Late Late Show tenure which began in 2005, notable chapters in Craig Ferguson’s career included appearances in London’s West End, at the Edinburgh Fringe and on television shows including the BBC sitcom One Foot In The Grave and the USA’s The Drew Carey Show.
His film career includes both writing and lead acting credits on the movies The Big Tease (1999) and Saving Grace (2000), with the former set in both Glasgow and Los Angeles. More recently he has been a popular choice for voicing over animated movies, with Brave and the forthcoming How To Train Your Dragon 2 among such credits.
Name: Mila Kunis
Born: 14th August 1983 in Chernivtsi, Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine)
Credits include: Black Swan, Ted, Friends With Benefits
Reason for visiting Glasgow:
As mentioned previously when noting Michael Clarke Duncan’s visit to the city, Mila Kunis was in Glasgow as a guest on Craig Ferguson’s The Late Late Show. Like Michael Clarke Duncan she was interviewed by Ferguson at the Tron Theatre and she also filmed a segment at the Necropolis – an outtake from this can be seen below.
Name: Michael Clarke Duncan
Born: 10th December 1957 in Chicago, Illinois, USA (died 3rd September 2012 in Los Angeles)
Credits include: The Green Mile, Sin City, Planet Of The Apes
Reason for visiting Glasgow:
In March of this year Craig Ferguson brought his The Late Late Show to Scotland, visiting a number of towns and cities around the country and filming interviews and sketches with a variety of guests. Michael Clarke Duncan, and also Mila Kunis, spent time in Glasgow. Clarke Duncan was interviewed in front of a local audience at the Tron Theatre (see below) and was also filmed at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, as well as visiting Ferguson’s old high school in neighbouring Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire.
At the time Michael Clarke Duncan stated on his Facebook page “Having a blast in Glasgow, Scotland! Saw Craig Ferguson old high school!” His page and this posting are still visible online which is somewhat poignant, as only six months later the actor died of a heart attack. It could therefore be considered a privilege for the city that this popular actor got to visit and speak so highly of it before his untimely passing.
Peter Capaldi was born in Glasgow on 14th April 1958 and attended Glasgow School of Art. During his time as an art student, Capaldi was lead singer in a punk rock band called Dreamboys alongside drummer Craig Ferguson, another Glaswegian who went on to act and now hosts The Late Late Show on American television. Look up the two names on YouTube and you will find a video of Ferguson interviewing Capaldi on The Late Late Show – it is somewhat surreal to see a high profile American talk show, filmed in Los Angeles, on which the host is Glaswegian, the guest is Glaswegian and the pair are reminiscing about taking acid in a flat in Havelock Street.
Back to Capaldi and his part in the world of movies though. Glasgow on Film previously mentioned his legendary role as Malcolm Tucker in both In The Loop and television’s The Thick Of It. His other big screeen acting credits include the role of Oldsen in one of Scotland’s most celebrated films, Local Hero, that of Azolan in 1988’s Dangerous Liaisons and parts in British comedy movies including Bean and Magicians. He has also appeared in Soft Top Hard Shoulder and Wild Country – both films with Glasgow scenes. Peter Capaldi is another very versatile Glaswegian actor – for an example of this see his performance in In The Loop (or The Thick Of It) versus his portrayal of Home Office Permanent Secretary John Frobisher in the television mini series Torchwood: Children Of Earth – both productions see Capaldi suited up and walking the corridors of Whitehall but the contrast between his characters in each is wide – he goes from being ferocious manipulator to humble and manipulated.
As well as having success in front of the camera, Capaldi is an experienced writer and director – he wrote the aforementioned Soft Top Hard Shoulder and most notably wrote and directed 1995 short film Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful Life, which won both an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Short Film.