‘I wouldn't be here without him' – Peter Capaldi on Bill Forsyth
Actor Peter Capaldi spoke of how Bill Forsyth saved him from living off pakora and lager after starring him in Scottish cult classic Local Hero.
The Doctor Who and The Thick Of It star praised the Scots film director in an acceptance speech after receiving the Bafta Scotland Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film & Television on Sunday.
He was part of a night of celebrations of Scottish film and TV in Glasgow which saw best actor awarded to fellow co-star Jack Lowden for his role in Benediction, and Izuka Hoyle scoop best actress as Camille in hit British film Boiling Point.
Speaking to the audience while holding his Bafta, Capaldi said the award was “for getting lucky, and for being lucky enough to be born in Scotland”.
But he also pinned the recognition on the people who he has met along the way, including Forsyth.
He said: “Forty years ago I was just up here (in Glasgow) as an art student, living off pakora and lager for breakfast.
“Bill Forsyth scooped me up and put me in Local Hero.
“It was an act of kindness and confidence that baffled me and much of the industry to this day, but I wouldn’t be here without him and nor would a lot of others.”
Capaldi landed this breakthrough film role aged 24 playing Danny Oldsen, a naive young oil industry executive, in the film.
He went on to praise Scottish satirist Armando Iannucci, writer of The Thick Of It, where Capaldi plays the foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, describing him as “fabulously gifted”.
He said by the time he met Iannucci, he had “some ups and downs” and had been dropped from the series Trawlermen before deciding to go for the Tucker audition.
He recounted: “When I went to the audition, and Armando said to me ‘there’s no dates there’s no stars, there’s no actual script and would you like to improvise something?’ I had that look on my face, that was basically telling him to f*** the f*** off, which, as it turns out, was the right vibe to bring into the room.
“He gave me the job and it changed my life.”
And of course, he couldn’t leave out Steven Moffat, who scouted him to play the 12th Doctor in Doctor Who.
Commenting on their time spent working with each other, Capaldi said: “Off we went and he took me on the most magical journey.”
He commented on Ncuti Gatwa taking on the new Doctor Who role, adding: “I can see it in his heart and see him but he’s about to discover how beautiful and wonderful and cosmic the human race can really be.
“And also he’ll be able to spot an anorak in his peripheral vision 50 yards and he’ll have to find out what to do.”
Capaldi closed with a nod to his fellow actors: “I just want to say, actors are brilliant.
“And it’s great when you get an award and it’s all like this and everything’s going really well.
“But for a lot of actors, it’s not going well.
“And from day-to-day from week-to-week, it can be really tough, and you can’t get through the door and you can’t get out the door sometimes, so I just want them to know that sometimes the stars align and you get lucky, and that’s what happened to me.”