Filth: James McAvoy cast as lead after 1 meeting

James McAvoy will play lead Filth character Bruce Robertson. Picture: submitted
James McAvoy will play lead Filth character Bruce Robertson. Picture: submitted
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JAMES McAVOY won the lead role of villain cop Bruce ­Robertson in the movie adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel Filth after just one meeting, its ­director has revealed.

Jon S Baird said he hadn’t even thought of McAvoy for the role of the corrupt and ­drug-addicted policeman, because of his previous roles.

But he said that on meeting McAvoy, the actor “got” the character straight away. He said McAvoy, 34, who shot to fame in TV series Shameless and later won awards as the Scots physician to Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, was “intelligent, intense and edgy”.

He said: “What makes Filth worth filming is Bruce Robertson. The story is all about this central character. He is the most complex character Irvine has written. It’s something he always wanted to see put on the screen and it just so happened that I met Irvine through a mutual friend and we shared a vision of how it should be done.

“James wasn’t an obvious choice because of his previous roles and even when we first thought about who we would cast for this movie, James wasn’t somebody who sprung to mind straight away.

“But as soon as we met him we realised there’s a lot more to James McAvoy than a lot of the public perception of him.”

Billy Elliot actor Jamie Bell stars as Robertson’s sidekick Ray Lennox in the film, while well-known Scots include ­Martin Compston and Gary Lewis.

The movie will be released in Scotland on September 27 and charts Robertson’s ­downfall within the force and how he interferes in his colleagues’ ­private lives.