Movie Glaswegians: Tommy Flanagan

Tommy FlanaganBorn in Easterhouse on 3rd July 1965, Tommy Flanagan today resides in Malibu, California, and plays one of the main characters in major American television series Sons of Anarchy.

Unlike the roles taken on by many of his compatriots in American shows, Flanagan’s character is a Scot – complete with Glasgow as the place of birth in his biography. The character’s name is Filip ‘Chibs’ Telford – the nickname a reference to the scarring on his face and the Scottish slang “chibbed”, meaning stabbed.

It would appear that the turn of events that resulted in Flanagan’s real-life scarring is what ultimately lead to his acting career – one that has seen him amass a number of roles in major film productions. In the early 1990s Tommy Flanagan was leaving a Glasgow nightclub where he DJ’d when he was attacked and viciously stabbed in the face by a man trying to steal his records.

During his rehabilitation following the attack, Flanagan’s friend – actor Robert Carlyle – suggested that he get into acting. He took his advice and joined the Raindog Theatre Company, which had been co-founded by Carlyle.

His membership of Raindog was to act as a springboard to the screen, landing parts in television series including Taggart before making his first film appearance as the rebel Morrison in Braveheart. Since then he has gone on to enjoy a successful career in both television and film. As well as the aforementioned part in Sons of Anarchy Tommy Flanagan has appeared in the likes of 24 and Peaky Blinders, while film credits have included GladiatorSmokin’ Aces and The Saint. He also appeared in Glasgow set features Ratcatcher and Strictly Sinatra.

Movie Glaswegians: Kelly Macdonald

Kelly Macdonald is another alumnus of Trainspotting and yet another of that film’s cast who has had a rich and varied film and television career since. Among her credits are No Country For Old Men, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Disney-Pixar’s Brave, in which she voiced the lead character – Merida. And although not a movie title, also worthy of a mention is her role as Margaret Thompson in the hugely successful HBO television series Boardwalk Empire.

Alongside Trainspotting, other Glasgow-connected works in which Macdonald has appeared include Strictly Sinatra, Stella Does Tricks, The Decoy Bride (all filmed or partly filmed in Glasgow)and Lassie, in which Dublin doubles as a mid 20th century Glasgow.

Kelly Macdonald was born in Glasgow on 23rd February 1976. She is married to fellow Glaswegian Dougie Payne, bassist and backing vocalist of the band Travis, and at the time of this posting the couple are expecting their second child.