Game Of Thrones: Sophie Turner On Sansa Stark’s Blackwater Bravery [Excerpt]

SOURCE: Access Online
AUTHOR: Jolie Lash
DATE: 29 May 2012
ORIGINAL: Click here
ARCHIVE: Click here
NOTE: Excerpt only, just because I like the little side conversation about Rory. Obviously, go to the original or archive links to read the rest.


Access: Speaking of music, Rory [McCann, who plays The Hound] told me at the very beginning of the season that he had a guitar on set and the kids on set would ask him to play songs from ‘Glee.’ Is this true and were you a part of it?

Sophie: Oh, I didn’t know this… I remember once, we were in Scotland and we were shooting the pilot, Rory got up on the piano and started playing in this bar in Scotland and everyone was joining in. It was really nice.

Access: He seems like a fun guy, but I would be weary of his pranks.

Sophie: Rory? Yeah, I can definitely see this. He’s a really cool guy though. He’s so nice and I don’t think he gets enough credit for his work. He’s awesome. I love him.

Rory McCann – Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, Game of Thrones

SOURCE: Geek Chocolate
AUTHOR: Michael Flett
DATE: 19 March 2012
ORIGINAL: Click here
ARCHIVE: Click here


Concealed under heavy makeup as Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, Knight [sic] of House Baratheon in Game of Thrones, Rory McCann may not be immediately recognisable, yet he has an impressive list of credits stretching from the drama of Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher, Oliver Stone’s Alexander and Shameless to the comedy of Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz and The Book Group for which he won a Scottish BAFTA award. On Sunday 18th March the imposing yet personable actor was kind enough to sit down to a pint of Guinness in the bar at Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole Hotel while attending Starfury Throne Con.

Geek Chocolate – Glasgow is fast becoming a major filming location for its architecture, its scenery and its amenities, with World War Z and Cloud Atlas shooting there over the last year, and the city now has its own successful film festival. How far do you think a homegrown film industry can develop?

Rory McCann – Well, the talent is there. Scotland is ready to take on anything like that, I’m sure. It’s very frustrating that it’s not a regular occurrence, every week. There’s all the facilities just sitting there, all that talent. It’s a small world, the film industry, and when I travel around the world, I’m meeting Scots working in the industry, spread out all over, and they can’t get any work back home.

GC – You’ve worked with many of the big names of Scottish film, David McKenzie, who directed you with Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton in Young Adam. What are your reflections on them?

RMYoung Adam was a nice little break for me. I knew David socially in Glasgow before, and I was hoping I would get a call, just for something, and I got a little part in a great film, and I got to meet absolute heroes of mine, in particular Peter Mullan who inspired me to be an actor, I would say, watching him in My Name is Joe, for example.

I’ll never forget being on set on the first day, I was very, very nervous, there was a knock on the door, and there was my hero, Peter Mullan, and he looked up at me and said “You’ll no have had your lunch, big man, do you know that we’re on afterwards?” And I said nervously, “Yeah I know we’re on afterwards, I’m not having any lunch.” And he said “Do you know there’s a pub just a few hundred yards up the road, why don’t we just go for a pint,” and he put me at ease. And that’s the kind of man he is.

And I met Tilda Swinton, and Tilda Swinton was absolutely fantastic. What an amazing woman she was. She actually found me my first London agent. So that was just a wonderful experience.

GC – The experience on an HBO show must be quite different to the normal television routine.

RM – Yeah, it’s obviously so much bigger, in budget, in size, but the one thing which I’m only starting to understand is directors are coming in for different episodes, and that can throw you a little bit, because everybody works on different wavelengths. It’s very good for your job in a way, as it keeps you on your toes. That’s the big difference that I’m seeing. But they are still very open to changing things, and they have great knowledge. It’s great to be on HBO, it’s absolutely fantastic. I would say it’s better being on HBO than being in films.

GC – And the content is quite different, too. One of our writers refers to the show as Game of Boobies. And that’s just Jason Momoa, I think.

RM – Aye, that’s Jason for you, god bless him. Game of Boobies as in because there’s a lot of boobies in it? Yeah, there is a lot of boobies going about. I had friends watching Game of Thrones the first time, and I’m getting a few phone calls going, “Hey, big man, you never told us there was nudity, I had to throw my kids upstairs after the first ten minutes.”

GC – So the beheadings didn’t bother them?

RM – Exactly. What’s that all about?

GC – You filmed in quite a few locations for the first season of Game of Thrones and you’ve indicated that the second is even more epic. What can we expect?

RM – We were in Malta, a little bit of Scotland, and Ireland for the first, and for the second we moved to Croatia and Iceland, and everything got bigger, and the storylines got bigger. People who were on set in the first series, had a few lines, their first jobs, were coming back as kings and queens, and everything has just totally exploded. I just still can’t comprehend how they’re managing to make it understandable, that there are people following it, even the people who haven’t read the books are understanding this epic that’s going on. It’s wonderful, it’s very, very exciting.

GC – And you’re reading the books yourself. How far ahead are you, and have you spoiled anything for your castmates?

RM – I am staying ahead of the game, just and no more. I’m nervous to think that it might end for me, so I’m staying just ahead. I do know the story for the next season, fingers crossed, if it goes ahead, and a couple of new actors I’ll be working with I’m very much looking forward to.

GC – You got to meet George RR Martin on location on the pilot, carrying your copy of the book with you.

RM – Yes, that was a funny experience. I like the outdoors, and I like my own company, and before I was an actor I was a lumberjack, and I remember at mealtimes, everywhere we were spread in the forest, all the saws would stop, and there was silence, and it was the time to read The Lord of the Rings for an hour, and I did the same thing with George’s books.

I went out to the wilds, round a fire, in the wet, in the rain, in the woods, and I read that book, and I read it again and again, and I found out that I had got the part, obviously, and when I did meet George, the book was literally twice the size and smelt of stale woodsmoke, and I remember he grabbed it and said “What the hell have you done to my book?” and remember saying, “George, this is how you’re meant to read it, round a fire at night, in the drizzle.”

GC – Despite being in an environment rife with treachery, the Hound is one of the characters who stands up to do the right thing, specifically I’m thinking of the jousting scene in the first season when he stands up to his brother. Can we expect more of that?

RM – You certainly can. It’s going to be double trouble with the Hound standing no nonsense, no bullying, in the thick of it. There’s going to be battles this time. There’s been a real call for proper battles and he’s going to be drenched in blood for most of the time, so it’s a very exciting time for the Hound’s story.

GC – Excellent. I understand your armour causes a lot of problems with the sound.

RM – Yeah, that’s a problem. There’s a lot of rattling around, you just can’t do anything about that. There’s chain mail bouncing off pieces of metal, other bits of armour, never mind the poor swords and all the people about, and that’s always been a problem. Shakespeare said “Do not sully too much the night,” but you can’t help but move a little bit, and any slight movement, there will be a squeak or something, and unfortunately sometimes this means you have to go six months after the event and record the sound over again in a studio. Microphones are getting better these days, but the problem is still there.

GC – Is your lip-synching becoming any easier now you’ve been doing it for a year?

RM – I’ve really always struggled with it, but I’ve got now a system. I’ve worked out how my brain works, and I don’t look at the screen at all now. I close my eyes, I listen to the line how I said it, and just by ear, recreate it right away, and don’t look at my lips. I remember the sound recordist in London doing it recently said “That’s exactly how Cate Blanchett works,” I said “Well, if it’s good enough for Cate, it’s good enough for me.”

GC – Between Game of Thrones, Season of the Witch, Solomon Kane and Clash of the Titans you’re doing well in the fantasy genre. Is that something you particularly aim for, or something your agent feels it’s easy to place you in because of your appearance?

RM – It’s such a physical medium. I’m a big guy, put a sword and some armour on me and I look the part, I suppose. No wonder I get a chance to audition for these parts, which is always a pleasure. My first job was as an extra on Willow.

GC – You must have been fairly young.

RM – Yeah, I was young, I was sixteen, seventeen, living in caves in Llanberis Pass in North Wales, moving around out there, and I was climbing and I found a film set in a slate quarry that I was climbing in two weeks before, and a castle there. I arrived, and there was all the locals and an American shouting at them, this casting man, and he said, “Look, thanks guys for all coming, we really do appreciate it, but there’s no more parts unless you can ride a horse,” and I thought, I can’t ride a horse. And he said, “We only need two more people, they’ve to be tall and they’re playing drunks.” And I stood up and I said “I’m Rory McCann from Glasgow, and I’m six foot six,” and I got the job.

I worked with Pat Roach, who was inspiring. I wasn’t that big at the time, but suddenly I saw that a big man could get the job, and that’s the first time that I met Val Kilmer, and thirteen years later I was in a hotel room with Val Kilmer, holding a script, going “Do you know how you work with stone, this is how you work with stone.” And another six years later I was in the exact same quarry that I had been climbing and an extra in Willow in, and I was a featured artist on Clash of the Titans. It’s amazing how it goes, and I’m so grateful, and it’s just the way my path is at the moment.

GC – You’ve played piano for a while, and you’re moving into guitar, banjo and mandolin. Do you think you’ll ever have the opportunity to use those skills on Game of Thrones or another show?

RM – You never know. I would say if there was any chance on Game of Thrones it would be the mandolin, because it’s part of the lute family, but would the Hound be picking up a mandolin? My god, he’d have to be throwing his sword away. Will he ever throw his sword away? I don’t know, maybe the readers know that, I don’t know.

GC – One of your directors on the show is Neil Marshall, who made Dog Soldiers and The Descent, but they’re not your kind of films, you said.

RM – I can’t watch. I get so frustrated. The amount of times I’ve gone to cinemas and realised I’ve spent literally sixty percent of the time looking through my fingers or going “la la la la” and not looking at the screen. I’m a big scaredy cat and I can’t watch horror. I tried to watch Dog Soldiers once and it terrified me. I think it would be different doing scary stuff when you’re an actor, but as a viewer I get really involved, and that’s just the way it is.

GC – One last question. If Edgar Wright ever called you up and offered you a role in another film, what would you say?

RM – Well, I think I would only say one word, and I think you know fine well it’s a big yaaaarp!

GC – Rory McCann, Sandor Clegane, the Hound of House Baratheon, thank you so much for taking the time out to talk with us.

RM – It’s a pleasure. All part of the service.

Access Countdown To ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 2: Q&A Rory McCann Talks Sandor Clegane (The Hound)

SOURCE: Access
AUTHOR: Jolie Lash
DATE: 23 February 2012
ORIGINAL: Click here
ARCHIVE: Click here
NOTE: Rory didn’t quite have it correct about the meaning of his surname. Look here. Also, he’s 6’6″, not 6’7″.


As Sandor Clegane, aka “The Hound,” on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Rory McCann plays one of the brawniest – and at 6’ 7”, one of the tallest — men in all of the kingdom of Westeros, but on a wintry day in late February, the actor himself is feeling a little shorter and a little less sturdy.

“I was feeding birds outside and I was wearing inappropriate footwear, shall we say,” the Scotsman recounts to, via phone from across the Atlantic. “It was pouring down with rain and I ended up slipping and falling down a hill. I should have gone with it instead of fighting, and now I’m limping.”

It’s by chance he shares this soggy story of injury with Access, but it’s a rather telling tale. His own dedication to braving the elements to look after hungry, wild birds during a cold European winter lightly reflects the journey of Rory’s character, who has his own little bird to look after in dark times – Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner).

As Season 1 closed out, after prince-turned-king Joffrey Baratheon ordered one of his henchman to strike his betrothed while they were perched atop a perilously placed bridge in King’s Landing, a wild idea flashed across Sansa’s crystalline blue eyes. She clocked the steep drop and Joffrey’s place on the bridge without any sides, but The Hound read her expressions. Despite being Joffrey’s protector, he quickly stepped in, saving the in-mourning redhead from doing something quite impulsive and dangerously regrettable.

Sandor says very little, but Rory, who calls the role “the greatest part I’ve ever been given,” knows for his character, actions speak louder than words.

Lucky for Access, Rory himself has plenty of stories to share, and as we continue our countdown to Season 2, he hints at how things will take shape for Sansa and The Hound as King Joffrey settles into power. Joffrey is the king as we begin Season 2. How is that going to change things for The Hound this time around?

Rory McCann: Well, I don’t think The Hound likes Joffrey, but he’s doing his job looking after him. The power, as you can imagine, will be going to [Joffrey’s] head and the real bully will be coming out, and it will be raising all sorts of memories for The Hound — the way that he was bullied. And you’ll be seeing the relationship between Sansa and Joffrey deteriorate — seeing the bullying that’s going on and again, The Hound will be able to link that to his childhood as well.

Access: Did you try and read the books or did you rely on the lovely people on set who are researchers for learning more about your character’s back story?

Rory: I tried reading the book, and I read the book and then I read the next one, and I’ve read three now. I’m staying just ahead of the game… And as for the research thing, on set? [It’s] fantastic… A lot of the time, either [executive producers] David [Benioff] or Dan [Weiss] would be on set and [could offer] just a confirmation of what my character was thinking and why he’s doing this and that was fantastic. There’s no guessing. The information was always there. I even went into some forums with the fans. They know the characters so well and I picked up a few tips, a few pointers from them, as well.

Access: That’s amazing. All right, so The Hound has an interesting relationship with Sansa. How is that going to work, going forward, as he sees Joffrey grow in power?

Rory: He’s going to be in conflict, I think. I think he wants to look after Sansa and totally understands her position, but he’s also in a position [of] — if he steps in, he is risking his life… I think in the first season you can see with Sandor and Sansa, that there’s a frustration with Sandor trying to get through to Sansa that it’s not all fairytale and true knights and there’s so much badness in the world. But, by the end of the first season, obviously she’s seen… her father having his head cut off. So she’s maybe seen the light now, but I think there’s still a frustration of trying to [get her to] see the reality of the whole situation. It’s giving advice to Sansa for survival, basically.

Access: How long does it takes to put on the hair and makeup? Hours?

Rory: Always. Every single time I’m given the sheets of the pickup times for the next day, it’s a running joke, I always go back to the office and go, ‘There must be some mistake’ (laughs). I’m at least a couple hours before everyone else. When it first started, it was three-and-a-half-hours, but we’ve cut that in half now. It’s all one piece now instead of separate pieces.

Access: It’s so intricate.

Rory: And the heat is unreal because I’ve got prosthetic all around my eyebrow and all [up] the side of my face and after a couple of hours, even if I’m not active, the whole thing starts to build up a sweat… until it starts to leak — usually from my eyebrow. Usually [we] have to burst it and reset it. It’s quite uncomfortable.

Access: And itchy too?

Rory: Very itchy! But, you know, it makes me angry and I just use it. Any time I see any other actors complaining about anything, I usually shout at them and go ‘Use it!’

Access: You were involved in one of the most memorable fight scenes last season – Sandor vs. his brother Gregor after a joust. Will you get to wield the sword a little bit more in Season 2?

Rory: Yeah. Twice as much. I’m in another joust with a gold helmet on. It’s quite hard to see who you’re trying to kill wearing that dog’s helmet, I can assure you.

Access: Now you’re a practical joker — is that right?

Rory: Uh, (pauses) yes. It’s one of my pleasures in life. I must admit. Nice practical jokes though.

Access: I read you played a joke on Oliver Stone [your director in 2004’s ‘Alexander’]…

Rory: What’s reported that I did to Oliver Stone?

Access: Something to do with a snake.

Rory: Oh, a snake under the hat, yes… It was a fake snake. I’ve done quite a lot of swashbuckling kind of films where all the actors ‘round me have their swords out… and my favorite [thing to do] is to tie all their swords up with fishing line, so when they take out the swords, it’s all over the place. It’s funny the first time…

Access: Is there anyone you play practical jokes on, on the ‘GOT’ set? Are the kids and younger actors cool with that kind of stuff?

Rory: They’re all cool with it. I get on great with all the kids. Was I doing any practical jokes? I wasn’t really, I don’t think… Because [of] the way I look — and I do know the way I look — I surprise people sometimes. So when I come ‘round a corner and they don’t notice… I give people a scare, just being my size and stuff. But I’ll go up to people behind and bark like a dog, and nip the back of their leg and watch them jump.

Access: What a hoot. Do you do that to Dan and David, because I imagine they could probably use it every once in a while?

Rory: Yeah, I know. They work so hard. It’s things like during the night shoots, you’ve gotta try and keep your spirits up. The night shoots this season — the weather was brutal and so anything to cheer up anyone. But it’s was usually just telling stories… I have a guitar on set, as well. I play little ditties and stuff. There’s usually someone else with a guitar as well. There’s usually a jam going on.

Access: Are there particular pop classics you guys like to break out?

Rory: I tell you what, the kids love that classic ‘Glee’ song. You know, the ‘Glee’ song. The one that goes (starts singing) ‘just do it, I’m just a na-na-na…’ You know that one?

Access: I’m not sure I do. They do so many.

Rory: Honestly, I’ve never watched it and that’s another thing, I don’t watch really watch telly. I haven’t managed to watch all of the first season [of ‘GOT’]… David and Dan invited me to sit in a screening room and watch all the episodes, which sounded good, but 10 hours by yourself watching ‘Game of Thrones’? I don’t think I could do that… I live out in the wild, so I think I’ll just have to wait for the box set myself.

Access: Does the isolation of where you live mean you don’t get ‘GOT’ fan reactions others in major cities probably do?

Rory: I wouldn’t say I’m that social… I’m either sailing my boat by myself or living in some small place. I’m just about to move to a place that you can only get there by rowing a boat across a loch, which I’m thoroughly looking forward to it. It’s not got electricity or anything.

Access: Have you had a chance to sort of enjoy the glory of a fan reaction to this at all, because people really love the show, myself included.

Rory: I’m getting that this thing is massive and the fan base is massive and they’re loving – I think they’re loving the show. Occasionally, I’ve dipped into the show website and then the other fan things and then it gets all too much and I switch the computer off.

Access: So nobody’s been able to come up to you yet, that you don’t know and say, ‘Rory! I love you as The Hound!’?

Rory: Not that much to be honest. To be honest, I was in a bookshop yesterday…

Access: Did you get a ‘Book Group’ recognition?

Rory: I sometimes get that, but I was in a book shop the other day and I was looking particularly Hound-like and a guy turned around that was in front of me in the queue — I was waiting for a coffee — and he just looked at me with a face of fear and went, ‘My good lord’ (laughs). And I just got the impression that he was seeing The Hound, rather than any of the other characters that I’ve played.

Access: That’s kind of cool. Probably has to be a little bit of fun…

Rory: The thing that I just discovered, which fascinates me really – my name, McCann, the translation isn’t ‘Son of Ann.’ … It comes from ‘Canis’ – as in ‘canine’ – as in ‘dog’! My name — Rory McCann — means Rory Hound, Rory Wolfhound. Can you believe that?

Access: Are you being serious?

Rory: I’m totally serious… as in ‘canine.’ It comes from that word. It doesn’t come from ‘Son of Ann,’ so that’s intriguing.


SOURCE: The Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland, UK)
AUTHOR: Paul English
DATE: 01 January 2005
ORIGINAL: No longer on TDR website. See next item.
ARCHIVE: The Free Library by Farlex. Had trouble with Internet Archive on this one for some reason. Will re-attempt later if they get their shit together.
NOTE: I have to say, on the one hand I love the tabloids because they’ll publish the most random shit about Rory, even when the random shit is true. But I could do without all the “hulk” and “jolly green giant” remarks. Jesus.

His former bandmate Graham’s story about his job at The Beeches is corroborated here, though. Haha. Poor Rory. I could see myself doing something like that…

P.S. Lookit the URL (website address) I gave this one. Hahahahaha.


HOW does an out of work Scottish actor get himself off the road to nowhere and into a Hollywood blockbuster?

By telling one of the biggest directors in the business to f*** off. Well, it worked for Rory McCann. The 35-year-old giant of the Scott’s Porage Oats adverts relaxes into his armchair at Glasgow’s One Devonshire Gardens, contemplating his latest lucky career break.

‘I hadn’t worked for 22 weeks,’ says the ex-Book Group star. ‘I was totally broke.

‘I knew they were doing auditions for Oliver Stone’s Alexander at The Grosvenor hotel in Glasgow, but I heard they wanted us to have prepared a Shakespeare piece for it. I’d never done any Shakespeare and felt I really couldn’t push that one.’

But a chance encounter with a veteran Scottish actor gave him the boot up the behind that took him from Glasgow’s Hillhead to the Hollywood hills.

‘I was at the Western Baths off Byres Road when I met Dave Anderson, who asked me what I was up to work-wise.

‘I told him there was nothing much, apart from this audition up at the Grosvenor, that I wasn’t going to.

‘He nearly kicked me up the arse, and said: ‘Don’t you dare. Get over there and sing a song, whatever, just do something.’ ‘He told me that I’d always wonder what happened if I didn’t go. So I turned up with nothing. I was like ‘Hello, here I am, do you want me to sing?’ In the end, Stone’s casting associate prompted the jolly screen giant to tell how he went from being a lumberjack via painting the Forth Rail Bridge to auditioning for an Oliver Stone movie.

So the Glasgow Hulk told his tales about cutting down trees, punting porridge and winding up in a wheelchair for a part in Channel 4’s The Book Group.

And it paid off.

‘A few days later I got a call and was told to get down to London right away,’ he says. There he met Stone, the big-hitting director whose CV boasts Natural Born Killers, Platoon, JFK and Born On The Fourth of July.

But rather than feeling intimidated, Rory, without a jot of acting training to his name, refused to kow-tow to Stone’s formidable status.

He says: ‘When I was introduced to him I had my lucky t-shirt on, a freebie from Panavision Scotland, which he immediately took the piss out of. I told him to f*** off.

‘And from then on I think we just treated each other as men, really, and not as director and actor.

‘The second thing he asked me was ‘Can you fight?’ ‘I was like: ‘Why’s that your question? Why would you ask me that?’ But the reasons were soon to become clear. By the time Rory had teamed up with co-stars Val Kilmer and leading man Colin Farrell at a pre-filming boot camp, he’d been pushed to his physical and mental limits in preparation for the gruelling role.

The rigid training schedule was meted out by battle-scarred ex-servicemen, who cared not a jot about fame, wealth and pandering to egos.

Rory says: ‘When I met Captain Dale Dye (the former US Military Commander, now eminent film advisor) I went up to him and said: ‘Hi, I’m Rory McCann and I’m playing General Crateros.

‘He said to me: ‘I know who you are, son, you Communist maggot t*rd. Now get down and give me 50.’ ‘I was like ‘Nice to meet you…’ Three weeks of physical graft in the merciless heat of the African desert toughened the actors up and bonded them together.

Rory says: ‘There was no electricity, no phones, no alcohol, no sweets. But it brought us closer together.

‘We’d be crawling over sand dunes to secretly meet some guy on a donkey, giving him half a bank note, and asking him to bring back some chewing gum, cigarettes and Coke, and he’d get the other half when he came back. We were all hitting walls.

‘We lived in tents, had no showers, and for lunch we’d be given half a peach, some olives and stuff.

‘There’d be maggots in the food but you’d just eat them anyway. There was no breakfast. We were only allowed a two-minute shower every second day.

‘We were worn to the bone. But we were soldiers by the end of it and ready to shoot the film. It created a brotherhood.

‘I don’t think anyone involved will ever be the same again.’

Rory recalls how bad-boy buddy Colin Farrell broke down in the middle of boot camp when news reached him that he’d become a dad for the first time.

He says: ‘Someone faxed a photo of his boy to him. I have a picture of him sitting there wearing a head torch, with him looking at this picture of his baby, crying his eyes out, covered from head to toe in all sorts of sh*t.

‘Someone managed to sneak in some beer for a quiet celebration that night. It was like prison. But I have to say I loved every last minute of it.’

Rory plays one of Alexander the Great’s generals. Initially, he feared his part might end up on Stone’s cutting room floor.

But when veteran Brian Blessed fell ill during filming it forced a rethink, resulting in Crateros taking on the mutiny speech – a key scene.

‘Until Blessed went down, I think I had about six lines,’ says Rory. ‘I was thinking about how much I’d end up being involved in things.

Stone’s cutting techniques are legendary, you’ll end up as an elbow in one shot, that’s the worry. But I ended up featuring quite heavily.’ The epic battle scenes took meticulous planning but are visually stunning on the big screen.

‘There were members of the Moroccan army and various other extras and ex-forces men involved in filming those scenes,’ says Rory.

‘Even some of them found it hard.’ The film was shot in Thailand, Morocco and in London studios.

‘Forget stunt routines,’ he says. ‘You were fighting for your bloody life.’ But it wasn’t all hard graft. Rory, the former frontman of a defunct band called Thundersoup, wowed his co-stars with his musical talents.

‘I played piano every other night in Bangkok or Marrakesh,’ he says.

‘Nearly everyone was a musician of some sort, apart from Colin who can’t sing to save himself. We were jamming all the time. Farrell was right in the middle of it all – but he’s bloody useless at music.’

THE film’s LA premier left Rory a little disappointed. He expected to party all through the night in the city of angels with co-stars Angelina Jolie, Kilmer, Farrell and Anthony Hopkins, yet he wound up back in his hotel room raiding the mini-bar. He says: ‘It wasn’t wild. I thought they’d have been partying all night but we were thrown off the piano at the Chateau Marmont Hotel and everyone was ready for bed by 2am. I didn’t like Los Angeles. Don’t know if it’s my scene. But I’d go again for work, of course.’

Which is a distinct possibility given the fact that his global profile has now been given a serious shot in the arm.

Indeed, some have suggested that the jolly screen giant has already earned his first million working on Alexander.

But Rory laughs that off.

‘Some a***hole made that up,’ he says. ‘My mother actually sent me a paper cutting when I’d just left the boot camp.

‘But the truth is I’d never been so broke. ‘I used to actually do OK when I worked as a lumberjack, I always had cash in my pocket. But now I hardly have any.

‘When I work, I live like a lord and spend all my cash on everyone and enjoy it with them. When I don’t work I tighten the belt and walk everywhere.’

He still lives in Glasgow with his girlfriend but hasn’t bought a place yet.

The money’s not quite steady enough, and he’s still driving around in a 30-year-old Scimitar, although you can’t quite see him driving something modern and sensible.

‘You can leave the Scimitar for three months in the rain and it just doesn’t rust,’ he says.

Rory’s just finished filming Beowulf & Grendell with Gerry Butler and Tony Curran in Iceland, but there’s nothing concrete around the corner.

‘At the moment, I have no idea what my next job is, or when my next pay cheque will be,’ he says.

Rory’s cashed Giros like anyone else who’s out of work – even after the Porage Oats ads – but he hopes it doesn’t get back to that.

If things get desperate again, he’d reluctantly – very reluctantly – consider getting that chainsaw out again.

‘It would kill me,’ he says. ‘I’ve been totally winging the acting – and I was a cowboy at the tree-felling thing too.

‘I destroyed everything in that job – greenhouses, garages, a BMW…

‘I even once did a job on a house called The Beeches.’

The implication’s clear that there weren’t as many beech trees left on that job, after Rory had hacked his way through the grounds, as the owners might have liked there to be.

Still, there’s always the dole queue if things get really grim.

‘Aye, that’s right,’ he says with a huge smile.

‘Imagine that – I’ll be the only millionaire signing on at Maryhill Job Centre.’