HE may have appeared in a string of Hollywood hits, counting Matt Damon and Hugh Jackman as co-stars, but Scottish actor Brian Cox has a special place in his heart for one particular leading lady, Edinburgh.
Speaking at the National Library of Scotland on Tuesday evening, the Braveheart and Bourne Identity star was vocal in his love for the city.
“I look upon Edinburgh as my spiritual home,” he said. “This goes back to when I was two years old and my Auntie Jean ran away to Edinburgh to marry a Protestant.
“She lived in Leith and Granton and I remember years later walking up the Mound and the hairs standing up on the back of my neck.”
Cox spoke about his memories of attending the cinema when he was a boy, deciding that acting was for him as Spencer Tracy and James Cagney filled the screen.
“Edinburgh is where everything came together for me as an actor,” continued Cox, “working at the Lyceum with actors such as Duncan Macrae and Fulton Mackay.”
Mackay is also the star of one of Cox’s favourite Scottish films, 1952’s The Brave Don’t Cry, with the work of directors Bill Forsyth and Peter Mullan also high on his list.
When I ask Cox if we can expect to see him filming on Edinburgh’s streets again he’s unsure, though one project may come to fruition in 2012.
As he plans to head back to the USA to shoot Will Ferrell’s latest comedy Dog Fight, can we expect to lose him to Hollywood?
Cox shakes his head. “The weather is beautiful and I love going there, but after a while it gets boring.
“Edinburgh’s always meant a lot to me, it physically charges me whenever I come back here.”
* Read more from Jonathan Melville at www.reelscotland.com