#AceScotsmanNews – Dec.11: The Scottish actor is best known for playing abusive drunks in Tyrannosaur, Neds and, most recently, Sunset Song. In his new film, Hector, we see a softer side. He reveals how sleeping rough in his youth was ideal preparation for the role – and why he campaigned for independence
Peter Mullan is known for playing pushers and punishers; men who drink and destroy. There are buckets of booze and abuse in his back catalogue, the cocktail strongest in Tyrannosaur, Paddy Considine’s bleak redemption tale, which opens with Mullan’s character, a raging drunk, kicking his dog to death.
In Sunset Song, Terence Davies’s lush but brutal Lewis Grassic Gibbon adaptation, Mullan plays the patriarch of a Scottish farming family, the Guthrie clan. Gruff, resentful and controlling, he’s at his lowest after a stroke leaves him bedridden and in the care of his teenage daughter (Agyness Deyn). He rings a bell. When she comes to tend him he makes an incestuous lunge for her, collapsing, undone, to the floor.