Scottish actor Kevin McKidd takes on two roles in Pixar’s new smash hit Brave. McKidd lends his voice to two different characters in the film, joining other Scottish actors Kelly MacDonald and Robbie Coltrane.
He told Movieline, “They just called me—they said, ‘We want you to be in this film!’ I said, ‘Who are you?’ [laughs] ‘Pixar!’ ‘Pixar? I’ll do it!’ And then they said it was about Scotland and I was like, brilliant! So it was a double-whammy for me, because just to be asked to be involved with Pixar is a big badge of honor. Then for the film to be about a place that I really love, was brilliant. So I didn’t even think about it for a second.”
McKidd has had a long career in the business—he’s certainly come a long way from the drug-addled Trainspotting. He believes there were several points where he started to break out. “I think it was Rome that was the thing, because I had quite a lot of lean years after Trainspotting,” he said. “I did a lot of cool work but very low budget and very indie stuff. I think it was Rome that was that game changer for me.”
The actor has since also made his foray into television, starring on ABC’s hit show Grey’s Anatomy. But McKidd is still disappointed that his show Journeyman didn’t air for long. “It’s hard these days in the business world, in the TV world,” he said. “A TV show has to be a massive hit straight away, so it was unfortunate that it didn’t last. We sat through the writer’s strike and then we thought, ‘Shit, we’re going to have to just leave, and go back to the UK.’ –and then Shonda Rimes called me. She said, ‘We want you for this show.’”
He knows better than anyone about the ups and downs of an acting career. It was one of the reasons the message in Brave of following your own path was significant for him. He admits, “I shouldn’t have been an actor. I should have been like a plumber, or something practical. I went to university to study engineering. I just knew that I wasn’t going to be happy. I could feel it in my gut, I could just feel it. So I made a change. I didn’t tell anybody, but I applied to drama school in addition, and got in, and then told my family that I was going in another direction. People were really cool about it, surprisingly! I think that can be a challenge—I was expecting them to be really not happy. But I think you have to do that sometimes, you have to just follow your gut. There’s no point living unless you’re actually following the path you feel you should be on, you know?”
Brave is in theaters now.