Scottish independence film: ‘I owe it to my kids’

Actor and film director Frank Gilhooley. Picture: comp
Actor and film director Frank Gilhooley. Picture: comp
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A LABOURER turned actor is producing a film about Scottish independence featuring a Sunshine on Leith star.

Frank Gilhooley, 44, who has appeared in sci-fi blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy and Outlander, has written Freedom for a Day, which follows three friends who feel betrayed by the referendum result.

I owe it to my children to make this movie, and keep independence in everyone’s minds for years to come.

Frank Gilhooley

And Paul Brannigan, who was also in Under the Skin and The Angels’ Share, has already signed up to play one of the leading roles.

Mr Gilhooley, a passionate Scottish nationalist, started writing the script as soon as the result came in on September 19 last year.

He said: “It is a political movie designed to make people think, but we are definitely looking at the referendum with ‘Yes’-tinted spectacles.

“I feel there is a wrong that has to be righted. I believe this sets the record straight with regards to the underhanded scare tactics employed by Westminster. I owe it to my children to make this movie, and keep independence in everyone’s minds for years to come.”

Freedom for a Day will be filmed across Scotland, including Mr Gilhooley’s home town. Mr Gilhooley, who attended St Margaret’s Primary School in Loanhead and St David’s Roman Catholic High School in Dalkeith, never dreamed of working in the movie industry. The father-of-three trained as a landscape contractor before starting his own business in the early 1990s. He stumbled into acting in 2001 after a personal setback and started by getting involved in the Edinburgh Theatre Workshop.

In the same year, he was selected to play Frank Rowley in John Godber’s Up ‘n’ Under at the Edinburgh Festival. Since then he has played several roles, including a mobster in One Last Chance, and also appeared in It’s a Free World, directed by Ken Loach.

Mr Gilhooley declared himself bankrupt following a spike in his mortgage repayments on Leadburn Manor Fly Fishing Centre outside Penicuik.

But within a week of ­taking the tough decision, he was offered the part on Guardians of the Galaxy, which took more than £250 million at the box office.

john.connell@edinburghnews.com