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TF 19 - 'Connect' - Article in The National Newspaper

"Kevin Guthrie on his journey from Hollywood to an indie film"

HAVING landed a key part in a multi-million pound franchise, not many actors would consider starring in an indie film made on a shoestring budget in North Berwick. But Kevin Guthrie is proud of his role in a movie that deals with the gritty subject of male suicide.

Mental health is an issue he feels Scotland has still to get to grips with so, after playing opposite Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, he headed for East Lothian to shoot Connect, which has its world premiere at Glasgow Film Festival next month.

Tragically, Guthrie’s feeling that the time is right for such a film was underlined by the suicide of musician Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit as it was being made.

“That was utterly devastating but it shows how close to home the film is,” Guthrie told The National. “It’s an issue for everyone in Scotland, not just males. I think we are getting better about talking about mental health but the support network still seems to be lacking.”


GUTHRIE had previously worked with director Marilyn Edmond on films like Sunset Song and Sunshine On Leith when she was an assistant director, so when she said she wanted to make a full- length feature he was immediately interested.

He had already made up his mind that in between making blockblusters in the JK Rowling Fantastic Beasts franchise he would try to make more profound, character-driven stories.

Edmond’s script struck an immediate chord with him because of its range and depth and when she assured him he could have some creative input it sealed the deal.

“I realised I would be very disappointed if I watched the film once it was finished and I hadn’t taken the role,” he said. “I was available and also curious to see how it would work with Marilyn writing, directing and producing, so it was a no-brainer really.”


THE film was shot in 15 days and for Guthrie, who plays the part of suicidal Brian, it was physically and emotionally draining.

“I had a few sleepless nights but it was an amazing experience to see how much I could get out of myself in just over a fortnight,” he said. “And it was a brilliant environment onset as we all sensed an opportunity to create something we really wanted to make.”

The people of North Berwick rallied round as well.

“The locals were exceptionally supportive,” said Guthrie. “If we needed to do anything like park a car in someone’s drive it was no problem.”

Connect actually looks like it was filmed in the Caribbean as it was shot during the hot spell last May, but the beautiful scenes only emphasise the darkness inside Brian’s head.


“PLEASED isn’t the right word considering the subject matter but I am proud of it,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that we have to tell a story like this but it is important that we do.

“There was a lack of resources and a lack of time but we managed to pull it together and Laura Dinnett, the director of photography, has shot it so beautifully it’s hard to believe it was on such a tight budget.”

READ MORE: Glasgow Film Festival to start and end with a bang


“YES but I’m lucky to be able to straddle both worlds,” said Guthrie. “Working on both has been an amazing experience and quite a contrast. Filming Fantastic Beasts is like going into a playground and having lots of fun as every day there is a different visual spectacle.

“And you can’t work with someone with the calibre of Depp and not gain something. He’s exceptionally good – very down to earth and very calm.”

Guthrie is tight-lipped on whether there will be another film in the Fantastic Beasts series but in the meantime he can be seen in Connect at the Glasgow Film Theatre on February 23. It will also be showing at the end of March at the Tartan Features Film Festival.


ACTUALLY, although the subject matter is dark it is ultimately a love story, helped along by humour and a refreshing authenticity.

While it is Edmond’s first feature film and is funded mostly out of her own pocket, she has wide experience in the industry and was motivated to make it about male suicide after an extra she had met on the Outlander series killed himself.

“About a year after we met I saw a Facebook post from him which said he was so happy and life was amazing,” she said. “A few months later he killed himself. I was gobsmacked. He was only 23 and it really stuck with me.

“I was wanting to make my own film so I decided to tackle male suicide as I thought it would be good to shine a light on the subject. I’m delighted it is having its world premiere in Glasgow.”

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