Fes­ti­val friends

Cam­bus­lang writer Dou­glas Lind­say on how his hair­cut ex­pe­ri­ences as a young­ster formed the se­rial killer char­ac­ter who is set to make his big-screen bow

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Kenny Smith

Stars Robert Car­lyle and Ash­ley Jensen were brought to­gether on the red car­pet at the Ed­in­burgh In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val last week — all thanks to a Cam­bus­lang man!

The Cam­bus­lang cre­ator of Robert Car­lyle’s new se­rial killer char­ac­ter says Bar­ney Thom­son was based on the worst as­pects of bar­bers he had met.

Last Wed­nes­day night marked the pre­miere of The Leg­end of Bar­ney Thom­son, the di­rec­to­rial de­but of Trainspot­ting star Robert Car­lyle.

The film is based on the book The Long Mid­night of Bar­ney Thom­son, writ­ten by Cam­bus­lang man Dou­glas Lind­say. The book was first pub­lished in 1999, in which a bar­ber ac­ci­den­tally be­comes a se­rial killer.

Car­lyle stars in the film, with Ray Win­stone as the de­tec­tive in­spec­tor hunt­ing the killer, who is sup­ported by his mother Ce­molina, played by Emma Thompson.

Dou­glas ( 51), a for­mer Cathkin High pupil, flew in es­pe­cially for the pre­miere in Ed­in­burgh, as he now lives in Talinn in Es­to­nia.

He said: “Bar­ney’s a kind of a jour­ney­man bar­ber.

“I used to go and get a hair­cut ev­ery three or four weeks and, when I sat there, I could see all these el­e­ments in them that stuck in my head.

“In the end, I took the worst parts of them all and brought them to­gether in the one char­ac­ter — he’s pretty use­less and he does bad things, and I’ve been ex­pand­ing on those ever since.

“I’m re­ally pleased we’ve got Robert play­ing him — he’s just right for the part.

“When I heard he was go­ing to be di­rect­ing it, I was re­ally pleased. It’s his first film, so there’s a ma­jor buzz about it.”

Although the book has been adapted from his orig­i­nal novel, Dou­glas has had vir­tu­ally no in­volve­ment with the adap­ta­tion of his work.

He ex­plained: “I’ve never re­ally talked to Robert Car­lyle. I came over for one day of film­ing and, re­ally, the first I saw of him do­ing it prop­erly was when I saw the trailer with him.

“I knew from the off that I wasn’t go­ing to be in­volved in writ­ing it and I wouldn’t be able to stick my nose in.

“I’ve seen the script two or three times along the way, but I didn’t re­ally have a look in.”

The writer says the cre­ation of the film was a drawn-out process.

He said: “It’s been a long-time com­ing. I first wrote the book about 20 years ago, and it was sev­eral years be­fore it was fi­nally pub­lished, in 1999.

“I’d ac­tu­ally sold the movie rights for it a while be­fore it had been pub­lished. “I knew at the time it could take a while for ev­ery­thing to come to­gether and for the film to be made, but I didn’t think it would take 16 years!

“The guy who has pro­duced it and cowrit­ten the script, Richard Cowan, was some­one who I first spoke to in 2002, and he’s been with it for the past 12 or 13 years. I sup­pose it just de­pends on when the money come in — it’s taken a long time, but I can’t wait to see it.”

The Bar­ney Thom­son book se­ries now stretches to seven nov­els, but Dou­glas isn’t se­quel-hunt­ing yet.

He added: “It was my first book, and I just want to see how it goes.

“I’m feel­ing quite con­fi­dent about it and, from what I’ve heard about the at­mos­phere when they were film­ing, it looks fan­tas­tic.

“I’ve got no pos­ses­sion over it, and I just want to see what they’ve done with it.”

Killer cut­ter Robert Car­lyle stars and di­rects

the film adap­ta­tion of Dou­glas Lind­say’s book (inset), based on a homi­ci­dal bar­ber

Star treat­ment Dou­glas and his fam­ily joined Car­lyle (left) on the red car­pet at the Ed­in­burgh In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val last week

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