Angus Articles....


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    TO LIVE AND STAY 'PURE' IN L.A.?: "Well, being a Westerner, I'm still prone to all the temptations and distractions which are provided," admits Macfadyen.

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    HIS BIGGEST TEMPTATION?: The California sun. "I have a permanent suntan," says the formerly pale Scot, "which is fine by me."

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    DIRECTING TIPS FROM MEL: "Fear is the enemy of all people, especially actors," says Macfadyen. "Mel's good at making a set relaxed by telling jokes and being crazy. He's an actor, he understands the horror."

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Hot Scot

from L.A. Magazine, January 2000
written by Margot Dougherty

Angus Macfadyen was the last actor to audition for the role of Orson Welles in Cradle Will Rock, Tim Robbins's quasi-comedy about the Depression, censorship and a drama troupe. "After Tim had seen everyone in town, my agent said, 'Now's your chance,'" Macfadyen remembers. So he laid his best Welles down on a cassette and sent it off to Robbins in New York, thinking, "'Aha, at last' In a weird, arrogant, insane way, I knew it was mine." Robbins was less sure. "It turns out he had designs on the role himself," Macfadyen chuckles. "So for 10 days, he'd listen to his tape, then to mine, to his, to mine." The Scottish-born actor (an ex-beau of Catherine Zeta-Jones) prevailed and can also be seen playing Anthony Hopkins son in Titus, an update of one of those grisly Shakespeare revenge tales, grandly told by Broadway Lion King director Julie Taymor.

Mayfadyen, who played Robert the Bruce in Braveheart, Peter Lawford in HBO's The Rat Pack and Brendan Frasers antagonist in Still Breathing, grew up all over the world - from Switzerland to the South Pacific, thanks to his father's job as a doctor for the World Health Organization. His acting bent was apparent even as a wee bairn in Kenya. "I'm told I spent a few years running around with no clothes, thinking I was Tarzan," he says over tea and poached eggs at the Four Seasons. Now he's thinking he'll be a director and hopes to sell his new screenplay about Jung and Freud. "It's a musical called Hamlet Gets Therapy," he says. "It's also got Picasso, Einstein, Sarah Bernhardt, Buffalo Bill and Geronimo. They're on a boat and sitting at the captain table." All aboard.

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I Had to go 5000 Miles to Escape Zeta Circus

from Sunday Mail, September 3, 2000
written by Steve Hendry

ANGUS MACFADYEN has the world at his feet. The Scot has joined the Hollywood elite after a string of knockout performances alongside class acts such as Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins.

But any time he starts to get carried away with himself, three little words can bring the Edinburgh-born actor crashing back down to earth - Catherine Zeta Jones.

The 37-year-old star, best known as Robert the Bruce in Braveheart, shudders when he looks back on his romance with the Welsh beauty, who gave birth to superstar Michael Douglas's son Dylan last month.

But Angus has no regrets over his love for Zorro star Catherine - even though they were forced to flee 5000 miles across the Atlantic to get some privacy.

Angus, who now lives in Los Angeles, said: "That sort of attention wasn't to do with me being an actor, it was to do with that relationship.

"I've got to say I didn't like that at all - and nor did she.

"That's why both of us left the UK, that's why we travelled 5000 miles.

"What's the point of just being a celebrity and having rubbish said about you? It really wasn't satisfying.

"It was a very tough time. I probably - definitely - wasn't someone who should have been in a serious relationship then."

Angus met former Darling Buds of May star Catherine - due to become the new Mrs Douglas later this month - while he was playing Second Lieutenant Alex Pereira in the ITV drama Soldier Soldier.

She had recently endured a very public split with Scots Blue Peter host John Leslie, amid rumours that he didn't want to be rushed into marriage. Angus and Catherine later got engaged but split in 1996, after he shot to fame in Braveheart.

Bachelor Angus went on: "I'm out of the country most of the time, so I never see the stuff written about me in the UK now. It doesn' t really affect me too much, but it did when I was still here.

"It's not really about becoming famous and not being able to walk down the street for me - I've seen Mel Gibson walk around the streets, completely unrecognised.

"I have a thing about just not wanting to be recognised."

If he feels upset by continued interest in his former love life, he hides it under a laid-back, carefree attitude.

He doesn't seem to mind that he's perhaps better known as Cath's ex than for many of his film roles.

He said: "The hardest thing in life is to turn the other cheek. That' s really tough.

"It's associated with mild and meek behaviour, but to actually turn the other cheek you have to have courage. There's a certain defiance in doing that."

Since his split with Catherine both have gone on to conquer Hollywood - she alongside Antonio Banderas in Zorro and Sean Connery in Entrapment, and Angus with Mel Gibson in Braveheart, and as Orson Welles in Tim Robbins' film Cradle Will Rock.

His latest role is alongside Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange in the Shakespearean epic Titus.

Angus plays Hopkins' eldest son, Lucius in the gory drama, which includes a scene in which he uses a spoon to slay his victim.

The Titus cast is full of Celts - including fellow-Scots Laura Fraser and Alan Cumming and Welshmen Hopkins, Jonathan Rhys Myers and Matthew Rhys. And Angus revealed how the Celtic clan pulled together when the going got tough on location in Italy.

He said: "There were times when we were stuck out in the middle of nowhere and had to remind ourselves why we decided to do this film.

"We were only shooting at night because the Colosseum didn't look good during the day so there were these howling winds coming in. We were covered in wet mud and the temperatures were below freezing.

"It was a very unglamorous shooting environment. There were days which were very intense and not fun.

"But there were a lot of Scots and Welsh and there was also a lot of sitting around, joking and going crazy.

"Anthony Hopkins did wonderful impressions of Hollywood greats. Anthony is the focus of the whole film and he used to joke about that saying: 'It's all one big close-up on me'.

"I used to reply: 'Well, you've got quality wallpaper right behind you.'

"I'm very proud of the film and I enjoyed making it. We had Rome, we had great restaurants, we had wine, that whole culture. It was marvellous."

Spending your time drinking wine and eating pasta might sound like the ideal way to make a living, but for Angus it was almost too much temptation.

He came to the set of Titus four weeks after starring as Orson Welles in Cradle Will Rock.

He had put on three stones for the part - and had to shed them before starting work on Titus.

Angus admitted: "It was very difficult because I only had a month between the films.

"I was quite happy eating pasta and sipping wine in Rome and didn' t really want to stop, so I just kept eating and went to the gym every day and tried to ensure I was a bulky sort of warrior."

In the break between films, Angus also went hiking in the Cuillins on Skye in his bid to shed the pounds.

His parents have a home on the scenic island and he took full advantage of the mountain landscape to get back into shape.

Patriotic Angus remains proud of his role in Braveheart, but tries to play down his passion for Scotland.

He said: "I try not to fall into the trap of being one of those Scots who leaves home and then has very strong opinions about the country they no longer live in.

"I love the land and the country and I'm obviously pleased about the political situation.

"I think that's a big step in the right direction. What's amazing is it was really a film that did that -- it was Braveheart. The film did far more than any politician's speech to awaken the consciousness of the people. It was quite remarkable to be partof that.

"I still pinch myself thinking about the impact it has had - in fact I was pinching myself the first day I had to do a scene with Mel.

"I was going from Soldier, Soldier to working with Mel Gibson. It was quite a way of getting into films."

The success of Braveheart saw doors starting to open for the talented Scot.

In the last few years, he's starred as Hollywood hellraiser Peter Lawford in Rat Pack, Welles in Cradle Will Rock and Lucius in Titus.

His performance as movie legend Welles was tipped for an Oscar and he can count the likes of Joe Mantegna, Susan Sarandon, Vanessa Redgrave, John Turturro and John Cusack among his co-stars.

He is about to start work on the futuristic thriller Lithium with Christian Bale and Emily Watson and has numerous projects awaiting release - including a part as Zeus in a big-budget remake of Jason and the Argonauts.

But no matter how successful he is, Angus will be attempting to stay out of the headlines.

After his affair with Catherine Zeta Jones, he's determined to keep his private life private.

He said: "I have the type of career that is not some huge explosion on to the hype market.

"I don't feature on the covers of gossip magazines, I've not been in movie magazines, I don't have a publicist. I just do my work.

"I just enjoy the experience of working with great actors such as Hopkins and Lange. That's really what it's all about for me."

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Angus Right for Triangle

from The West Online

LOS Angeles-based Scots actor Angus MacFayden has just signed to star in When We Were Modern, the cinematic saga of the Heide love triangle of John and Sunday Reed and Sir Sidney Nolan.

MacFayden, best known for his role as Robert the Bruce in Braveheart, has most recently played the key love interest in the box office hit Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, also starring Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd, Ellen Burstin and James Gardener.

MacFayden's Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood hit the third spot in the US box office last week, having earned $64.8 million in just 12 days.

In When We Were Modern, MacFayden will play John Reed.

The film, directed by Paris-born and Melbourne-raised Philippe Mora, will also feature Rachel Ward as Sunday Reed, Susie Porter as Joy Hester and Marcus Graham as Sidney Nolan. Mora's brother, Tiriel Mora (The Castle) will play writer Max Harris.

During the 1940s Heide (the nickname for the Reed's home in Heidelberg) became a hotbed of creativity.

When We Were Modern explores the somewhat bizarre and tumultuous world of the birth of modernism in Australian art in the 1940s.

Heide became a focal point for Nolan, Joy Hester, Arthur Boyd, Albert Tucker, John Perceval, and Philippe's parents, Georges and Mirka Mora.

When We Were Modern begins production in Melbourne in November.

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    Here we have a letter from Angus to the fan club.

    And here are part one and part two of a letter to the Angus fan club from the then President of the club, Bonnie.

    And over here, yes another scan-link, is the last letter I scanned from The Man.

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