A Rutherglen actor is about to give a voice to one of Scottish history’s most controversial figures.
Stuart Falconer will play the voice of religious firebrand John Knox in a new documentary that will premiere next week.
Entitled “Knox”, the film has been put together by Trinity Digital Film and was made by a group of young graduates after the £29,000 for the project was crowdfunded.
Filming took place in the UK, Switzerland and Germany, and Stuart hopes it will be picked up for wider distribution so people can see another side to the man who is credited with starting the Presbyterian form of worship.
Stuart ( 50), from Cathkin, said: “I’m excited about it, it was a brilliant part to play.
“He was a guy that was, for his time, a bit of a rebel and I think he’s been kind of misunderstood. His wife dying had a big impact on him.
“I think you’ve got to admire the strength of his convictions.
“You get politicians who are great speakers but then when they speak to you they can charm you. He was a bit like that, he was more than just a preacher, he was like a politician.
“The film will challenge a few myths. People only really know him as the firebrand, like an older Pastor Jack Glass, but he was much more than that.”
Knox was a leading figure in the Scottish Reformation. Greatly influenced by George Wishart, He was captured by the French when they besieged St Andrew’s in 1547 and spent time in captivity on a French Galley before being released into exile in England.
He fled England when Mary Tudor ascended to the throne and travelled to Switzerland and Germany, meeting Protestant reformer, John Calvin along the way.
After returning to Scotland he oversaw the completion of the Reformation. His meetings with Mary Queen of Scot’s have gone into legend with the perception being of the Protestant reformer lecturing the Catholic Queen.
But Stuart insists the pair weren’t as far apart as they possibly appeared: “I don’t think it’s entirely true they hated each other.
“If you look into the history of it, they were not as bad enemies as folk imagine.
“He could talk to people, it wasn’t always fire and brimstone.”
The premiere will take place in John Knox House on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile on August 4.
Stuart is also set to start shooting a feature film later this year, but in the meantime he hopes Knox will be picked up for wider distribution.
He said: “I’m really not sure what will happen with it. I hope people get what we are trying to do.
“He’s the founder of the Presbyterian church, it’s only right he gets some recognition.”