Actor Robbie Coltrane has had a long and
distinguished career, but Scotsman Coltrane is perhaps best known for
his role as Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies. Coltrane was an ever
present through all eight of the movie adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s
Harry Potter books. As Hagrid, Robbie kept a watchful eye on the young
Harry Potter and the other students at Hogwarts school, and it seems
that Coltrane has extended that watching brief into both real life and
his latest TV role.
According to the Express, Coltrane is swapping “his
role as Hagrid the gentle giant from the Harry Potter films for the
lead part in a drama about historic sex abuse cases involving television
celebrities.” Coltrane plays fictional celebrity Paul Finchley in a
new Channel 4 drama called National Treasure, which is to be screened
later this month. Coltrane’s character is accused of historical sex
abuse, and the drama explores the impact on his life and the life of his
family, including his deeply religious wife, played by another Harry
Potter veteran, Julie Walters.
Coltrane’s screen wife in the drama has
tolerated his extra-marital affairs for many years, but her world is
torn apart by the allegations made against her husband. In another Harry
Potter link, the drama was written by Jack Thorne, who collaborated
with J.K. Rowling on the new theatre production of Harry Potter and the
Coltrane’s role may be fictional, but it
is believed to have been inspired by the Jimmy Savile affair. Savile
was portrayed as a “national treasure” for his charitable fund-raising
and despite years of rumors suggesting that he was a sexual predator and
child abuser the full extent of his crimes was only exposed after his
death. The writer explains that his writing was prompted by the Savile
“Everything in a way
flowed from Savile. What fascinated me was for how long society
venerated this monster and how he got away with it under the gaze of the
Asked about his decision to play a role
in what will be an emotionally charged drama Coltrane said that he was
undaunted once he read the script. The BBC revealed that Robbie went on to explain that he has been “appalled” by the avalanche of allegations against high-profile celebrities since the Savile story broke.
‘every day another story [comes out], and I think it appals all of us.
Appearing in the series was an important thing to do. The power of drama
is you can deal with these things in a way that the judiciary, the
police and Parliament can’t, or seem unable to.”
According to the Mirror, Coltrane never actually met Jimmy Savile, but Robbie made his views on Savile absolutely clear claiming that he was clear that Savile was “up to no good.”
“I always thought
Savile was a creepy wee s*** bag. You could tell couldn’t you? I didn’t
hear any rumors about Savile. I just instinctively thought, ‘This guy’s a
According to the Daily Record, Coltrane was typically forthright when
asked about his role in National Treasure insisting that the
controversial subject matter isn’t about creating entertainment from
people’s misery and suffering.
“I believe with all
my soul that it’s the job of drama to deal with things that the
judiciary’s not very good at, the police aren’t very good at, the
politicians aren’t very good at, the civil service aren’t very good at.
“A lot of people asked about
Cracker, ‘why would you want to make an entertaining show about people
getting murdered.’ It’s not about entertainment, it’s about finding out
how people get like that. That’s what the whole show is about.”
Despite his role giving Coltrane an
insight into the havoc media intrusion creates when a celebrity is
accused of sex crimes, he supports such investigations remaining public
knowledge as it will encourage more survivors of abuse to come forward.
In his role, Coltrane sees his character’s whole life “fall off a cliff,
whether he did it or not. I think they capture that wonderfully.”
Robbie Coltrane is sure to take us on an
emotional roller coaster during this latest venture. Robbie did not
reveal whether or not his character was guilty of historical abuse or
not so you can be sure that Coltrane’s character will keep us guessing
until the very end. SOURCE
- Robbie Coltrane blasts Jimmy Savile as a “creepy wee s***e”
- Robbie Coltrane to portray rape-accused comedian in television
Coltrane has said he was “appalled” by the number of public figures who
have been accused of historical abuse in recent years.
The actor plays a fictional celebrity
who is accused of historical sex crimes in Channel 4 drama National
Treasure, which begins later this month.
Referring to real-life revelations, he said: “Every day another story [comes out], and I think it appals all of us.”
He said he believed appearing in the series was “an important thing to do”.
He said: “The power of drama is
you can deal with these things in a way that the judiciary, the police
and Parliament can’t, or seem unable to.”
The actor said he had avoided meeting
Jimmy Savile, who was found to be a serial abuser who had preyed on
children and adults over several decades.
“I never wanted to meet him. I always thought he was creepy,” Coltrane said.
“The big question is, what kind of culture was going on that he got away with it for as long as he did?”
At least 72 people were sexually abused
by Savile in connection with his work at the BBC, and the corporation
missed opportunities to stop his abuse because of a “culture of fear”,
the Dame Janet Smith review concluded earlier this year.
Coltrane said he hoped advances in communication and technology meant similar abuse would be less likely to occur now.
“With the way electronics and social media [are], hopefully it won’t happen again, that you could not get away with it these days. That’s what you’d hope,” he said.
Asked whether it was a difficult decision to appear in the show, Coltrane said: “Not once I read the script.”
The four-part drama’s screenplay was written by Jack Thorne, who also wrote Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, which is currently playing in London’s West End.
Co-star Julie Walters agreed that National Treasure “was wonderfully written, and written in a complicated, multifaceted way”.
The actress plays the wife of Coltrane’s character, one of many people around him whose lives are torn apart by the allegations.
“You look at these cases and for me it’s the wife you want to know about,” Walters said.
“Women like that are fascinating. The reasons she stands by him were fascinating to go into.” SOURCE
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