Last updated: 19 February 2021
Note: Adding more source material: as ever, in continual progress.
Name: Rory McCann. For a while his Wikipedia page claimed his middle name is Philip, but that’s now been removed and I’ve seen no primary sources backing it up.
Here is an interesting little bit about the meaning of Rory’s surname.
Birthdate: 24 April 1969
Height: 6 ft 6 in
Hair/Eyes: Dark brown/ brown
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Family: Mother, sister (Sally-Gay McCann), nephews. I have reason to believe Rory lost his father at a young age because he’s been quoted in an interview as finding out he inherited his dad’s voice by listening to an old recording of it.
Education: Dropped out of secondary school, attended forestry school (graduation status unknown). One acting seminar of unknown duration.
Non-Acting Work History: Tree surgeon. Lumberjack. Other industrial-type jobs. Frontman for a band called Thundersoup. Pub bouncer. Painter on the Forth bridges in Fife, Scotland, during their restoration in the late ’90s or early ’00s.
Known Hobbies: Climbing. Camping. Hillwalking. Reading. Musician (guitar, piano, mandolin, singing, etc.). Pranking. Making homemade sloe gin. He mentions having a photo of Colin Farrell crying at hearing that he’d become a father behind the scenes of making Alexander, and another photo of himself and his old bandmate Graham gone hillwalking (Graham writes about this in one of his books), so I suspect he may be a bit of a shutterbug as well. (Strangely, I also hear rumors he does not like having his photo taken…?)
Relationship Status: Unknown. There is a lot of controversy in the fandom concerning discussions of Rory’s love life, and I put my own take here, with supporting evidence.
Sexual Orientation: Definitely likes women. He’s never discussed any more than that in public, meaning it’s none of our business.
Religion: Unknown. Based on an article I’ve read where he says he turned down the role of Samson and, quote, “I’m not getting down to my pants and doing religion. I’d rather go and chop trees,” I’m guessing he’s probably atheist or agnostic. This places him squarely in the UK mainstream, however.
Habits: Smoking, drinking, coffee.
Pets: Dog person. He mentioned in that 2003 castle-custodian article that he had a German shepherd at the time, which matches up with a YouTube comment I saw once where the commenter said they saw him walking around Glasgow with one. Lots of us have seen the photos of him on his most recent boat sitting next to a shepherd or shepherd mix, likely a different dog. I do not know if he is currently owned by one or what other animals he might like.
Residence: Most likely Scotland, but exactly where is unclear. Was known to live on a boat docked in Ayrshire (a county on the west coast of Scotland, one shire west of Glasgow) for several years, but there are questions as to what’s going on with his boat. For more speculation on that, see here.
Random: Was bullied as a child for being small and skinny. Was a bit of a late bloomer; still didn’t have much of a beard by his late teens. Got work as an extra for Willow when they were filming in a quarry in Wales, but was fired for laughing during takes. Got his first big break as the Scott’s Porage Oats Man in three television ads and several public appearances from 1998 to probably 2000 or so. Suffered a 70- to 80-foot (21- to 24-meter) fall when climbing in Yorkshire in 1990 and racked up two broken ankles, a broken wrist, a broken arm, and a fractured skull. That experience was the inspiration for Rory’s character Kenny McLeod in the Scottish television series The Book Group, for which Rory won a newcomer BAFTA. Is known to have internet access, but claims to not know what social media is. (If you see someone claiming to be Rory McCann on social media, it’s not him.) May be bilingual; picked up enough Icelandic when living in that country to be able to converse in it when he went back to film for Game of Thrones.