1. Scottish actor Robert Carlyle is starring in the new fantasy film, Eragon.
In the film, a farm boy happens upon a dragon’s egg and the discovery leads him on a journey during which he realises he’s the one person who can defend his home against an evil king. The film also stars John Malkovich and British actor Jeremy Irons. Eragon goes on general release this Friday.
2. Carlyle, 45, is also starring in the BBC drama, Born Equal, which starts on BBC1 this Sunday. A major new drama from Bafta-winning writer and director Dominic Savage, it centres around a B&B for the homeless. Carlyle plays a character newly released from prison and searching for his mother. It also stars Colin Firth and Ann-Marie Duff.
3. An intensely private man, Carlyle has made his mark in films and TV as villains or ordinary blokes facing extraordinary circumstances. He came to public attention as psychopathic thug Begbie in cult hit Trainspotting, and is remembered for stripping off in The Full Monty.
4. Born in Maryhill in Glasgow, he was abandoned by his mother when he was four, and raised by his father, Joe, in a commune. He was inspired to become an actor after reading Arthur Miller ‘s The Crucible and began acting as a teenager in amateur theatricals staged at Glasgow Arts Centre.
5.The compact, wiry Carlyle enrolled at the Royal Scottish Academy of Drama but dropped out after only one term, frustrated by “the petty discipline”.
6. RAINDOG THEATRE
After earning his Equity card playing Oberon in a Scottish Chamber Orchestra staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he cofounded Raindog Theatre in 1991. The company is named after one of his favourite albums, Rain Dogs by Tom Waits.
MARRIED WITH KIDS
7. In 1997 Carlyle married Anastasia Shirley. In 2002, she gave birth to their first child, daughter Ava. In 2004, their second child, Harvey, was born. The Carlyles’ third child, Pearce Joseph, was born this year.
8. Before he hit the big screen, most people knew Carlyle for playing Hamish Macbeth, a laid back, pot smoking, Highland policeman, in the eponymously titled BBC Scotland drama.
9. Carlyle played bond villain, Victor ‘Renard’ Zokas, in The World is Not Enough (1999), starring alongside Pierce Brosnan. A bald-headed baddie, Renard was unable to feel physical pain because he has a bullet lodged in his head.
10. He was awarded an OBE in the 1999 New Year Honours List.