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scots actor dougray scott to lead new york tartan day parade
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Scots actor Dougray Scott to lead New York Tartan Day Parade

Yet even if Donald Trump returns to the White House this year, the Fifer won’t blame the people who put him there. As the Grand Marshall of the Tartan Day Parade through Manhattan, Scott will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Billy Connolly, Sean Connery, Alan Cumming and KT Tunstall as the figurehead of the annual jamboree of Stateside Scotiaphilia. And he’ll do it in the name of the progressive values he equates with the land of his birth – those which many consider antithetical to Donald Trump, Speaking exclusively to the Herald ahead of his appearance as grand Marshall of the Tartan Day Parade in Manhattan on Sunday, Scott said: “I’m really looking forward to representing Scotland in New York. We have a great country and a history of being welcoming, and politically and culturally diverse. “We fight for the underdog and have an innate fairness in our approach to the world, politically and culturally. I think Scots are egalitarian at our heart and soul – we fight for the underdog and for people to be treated fairly.” READ MORE: Mhairi Black to perform comedy show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe The actor, who lived in Los Angeles for several years before returning to the UK where he lives with his family in London, said: “I love New York, it’s a city I have loved since the first time I went there. I love the energy and intensity of it. Some feel crushed by that, but I feel energised by it. I’m looking forward to being there. The New Yorkers are great people. “The east and west coasts have a politically liberal identity. The people are open-minded, internationally sensitive, and culturally aware. Then you have the rest of America in the middle. They voted Trump, and they might again. “Having lived there, a lot of people out with America assume that Trump supporters are doing it because they’re right-wing and reactionary, or stupid. That’s not the case. People in Pennsylvania or Kentucky are living in places that have been left economically dilapidated and they didn’t see a change under Obama, so they looked for something different. “I detest Donald Trump in every way, but I understand why people felt desperate enough to vote for him, looking for something that might change their economic situation. It’s not all about being reactionary, right wing or politically abhorrent. It’s also about desperation.” Glenrothes-born Scott, star of blockbuster franchises including Mission Impossible and Taken, will wear his mother’s Morrison tartan in a kilt specially designed by Edinburgh kiltmaker Howie Nicholsby of 21st Century Kilts at the parade, considered to be the Scottish equivalent of Manhattan’s famous St Patrick’s Day celebrations. “I love Scotland and any opportunity to promote our superior country to anyone else in the world is an opportunity you can’t pass up, let’s face it,” said Scott. “There are millions of people in America who say they’re Scottish, so it will be interesting to see how many of them turn out on Saturday in New York.” As well as considering the political status of his destination, leading the Tartan Day Parade stirs a domestic political quandary for Scott. “I’m a Labour supporter and have been since I was a kid,” said the 58 year old. “I vote Labour. But if I lived in Scotland again I would vote SNP. Independence is something I am in favour of. “But I also see how centralised government in Westminster has ignored the need for investment in other parts of Britain, like places in the north of England which have been left damaged by the 80s and early 90s’ industrial collapse. Devolution would be healthy for these places.” READ MORE: New pictures show how revamped Edinburgh Filmhouse will look In 2021 Scott opened the Scottish wing of London production company Buccaneer, and scored immediate success with its first production. Crime, based on the Irvine welsh novel by the same name, won a BAFTA in the UK and scored Scott a Best Actor International Emmy in the US. He said: “It’s not that you need to have awards in order to make you feel that the projects you’re doing are worthwhile, but obviously it’s nice to have that recognition on an international scale. “I’m proud of what we achieved with it. I have known Irvine for years, he’s an exceptional writer.” Scott is currently filming an adaptation of The Crow Girl, by Swedish novelist Erik Axl Sund and is developing Scots author Jenni Fagan’s novels Luckenbooth and The Panopticon. An adaptation of another Welsh novel, The Blade Artist, based on iconic Trainspotting character Franko Begbie is also on the Buccaneer Scotland’s slate. “Robert Carlyle is on-board for that and it’s going to be great. We’re getting ready to do other productions too,” he said. “I’m keen to amplify these stories from Scotland. Our voice resonates on a universal level, which I think is very important.”

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