When I saw the script for Split [the precursor to Glass], I started getting little ideas and strategies about how to embody the role as I was reading it. The same was true for Glass. I have had scripts before when I have been, like, “I am not sure what I am going to do with this”. If you can’t imagine those things when reading the script for the first time, it makes it a lot more difficult. But Glass had such good writing that it made it easier for me to prepare.
The hardest aspect about filming this movie was that it’s not one character you are preparing for, [as my character has 24 different personalities]. It’s challenging, but at the same time it’s probably my favourite part of the film as well.
I am not sure if it’s endearing, but the fact that my character suffers from an identity disorder isn’t his fault. It’s not something he can be blamed for.
You can only ever really be as good as the people you work with, and that includes directors, actors and scriptwriters. Obviously in [my Glass co-stars] Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson you have two legends of the industry, and Sarah Paulson is extremely talented as well.
Not only is [Split and Glass director] M Night Shyamalan extremely talented and creative, you never know what you are going to get with him. He doesn’t do normal per se, and that’s an exciting person to work with.
It’s hard to say what my most rewarding role has been. I’ve had so many great roles with great writing – it’s hard to single one out.
For me it’s always the character I am being asked to play and the script above anything else. Thankfully, so many of my roles have meant working with some of the most talented actors and directors in the industry – but it’s always about the character first.
[What keeps me motivated] is simple – I really enjoy what I do. It still really excites me.
Celtic Football Club is the one thing that keeps me anchored despite traveling all around the world for filming projects. It’s not always the easiest thing being a Celtic fan – you experience the amazing highs, but then the big defeats in Europe. I am beyond passionate about them – and of course [my hometown of] Glasgow itself.
I seriously considered becoming a priest, but my reasons for wanting to do it were not the right ones. [Being an actor means that] I get to travel the world anyway, and I am so thankful because I love everything about it.
Singapore, like a lot of Asia, is so forward-thinking in its architecture, so modern and very impressive.
Three of my favourite holiday destinations are New York, Gerakas Beach in Greece and Tokyo. It’s a cliché but New York is beautiful and you can imagine that you are in a movie. Gerakas Beach has the most amazing snorkelling and I had a lot of fun when I visited Tokyo.
When you’re travelling, and you have kids, there is the temptation for holidays to become far more pool-oriented. But one of my top tips is to make sure you still get out of the hotel. Rent that jet ski, take that excursion, go on a drive and find where the locals eat.
This article was originally published in the January 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine