Though it seems a world away from the bright lights of Hollywood, Scotland has plenty of connections to the world of film. In addition to hosting prestigious film festivals and providing the backdrop for major blockbusters at its many filming locations, Scotland's home-grown talent has been making a splash on the silver screen for decades.

Don't let the accents fool you - here are just a few familiar faces you might recognise who were born and bred in Scotland.

Tilda Swinton

Academy Award Winning actress Tilda Swinton is a member of one of Scotland's oldest families; the ancient Anglo-Scots Swintons trace their roots all the way back to the Norman Conquest. Known for her ground-breaking roles in both arthouse and mainstream films, she has starred in The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio, The Chronicles of Narnia, Michael Clayton and We Need to Talk About Kevin. More recently she has appeared within the Marvel Cinematic Universe as The Ancient One.

Ncuti Gatwa

Ncuti Gatwa was born in Nyarugenge, Rwanda and was raised in Scotland, primarily in Edinburgh and Dunfermline. In 2013 he graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in Glasgow, with a BA in Acting. He is best known for his role as Eric Effiong in the Netflix comed-drama Sex Education. He has earned numerous accolades for the role, which including two BAFTA Television Award nominations for Best Male Comedy Performance, one each in 2020 and 2021. It was announced in May 2022 that Nctui would be taking over the role of The Doctor in hit British TV show 'Doctor Who'.

Image credited to суспільне надбання via Wikimedia Commons

Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming OBE, born in Perth, has a rich body of work across film, television and theatre. Cumming has won both a Tony and an Olivier Award for his theatre performances as well as receiving three Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for his performance in US TV drama The Good Wife. Alan has starred in a host of huge blockbusters including GoldenEye, X2: X-Men United, Get Carter and Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.

Ewan McGregor

Crieff-born Ewan McGregor began his career when he landed a leading role in Danny Boyle's 1994 film Shallow Grave. His international breakthrough came just two years later when he starred in Boyle's adaptation of Irvine Welsh's cult classic Trainspotting, playing cocky heroin addict Mark Renton. Since then, McGregor has started in major blockbusters including Angels and Demons and the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

Karen Gillan

Karen Gillan, born in Inverness, exploded into the world's consciousness as Amy Pond, the companion of the 11th Doctor on the hit BBC series Doctor Who. Since then, Karen has gone on to star in some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters. She may be unrecognisable under all the blue makeup, but Gillan has portrayed the character of Nebula in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.1 & Vol.2 and Avengers: Infinity War movies. 

Robert Carlyle

Born in Glasgow, Robert Carlyle, OBE is known for a variety of roles both in film and television, including those in Trainspotting, The Full Monty, The World is Not Enough, Angela's Ashes, The 51st State, and 28 Weeks Later. Carlyle is also well known for his eponymous role in the mid-nineties TV series Hamish MacBeth. From 2011 to 2018, he starred in the popular ABC TV series Once Upon A Time, playing the mystical and antagonistic Rumplestiltskin.

Gerard Butler

Paisley-born actor Gerard Butler originally studied to become a lawyer at Glasgow University, but transitioned to acting in the mid-nineties. During his time in Hollywood he has appeared in a huge number of hit movies including the starring role of King Leonidas in Zack Snider's war epic, 300. As well as this, preformances in titles such as The Phantom of the Opera, The Bounty Hunter, How to Train Your Dragon, Gods of Egypt and Geostorm

Rose Leslie

Rose Leslie was born in Aberdeen and raised at nearby Lickleyhead Castle where her father serves as the Chieftain of Clan Leslie. Rose is perhaps most well-known for playing the role of Ygritte in the hugely successful Game of Thrones series, and also played a prominent role in another iconic TV show - Downton Abbey. The Scottish BAFTA award winning actress also has an impressive stage career performing on prestigious stages including The Globe Theatre in London.

James McAvoy

With more than 20 award nominations under his belt, Glasgow-born actor James McAvoy is known for his roles on stage and in film. He is perhaps most well-known for portraying the young Professor Charles Xavier in the blockbuster X-Men franchise. McAvoy also starred alongside Forrest Whittaker in the Academy Award winning film The Last King of Scotland and also played Mr Tumnus in the 2000's adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia. He has recently starred as Lord Asriel in the television series, His Dark Materials, based on the popular book series by Philip Pullman.

Robbie Coltrane

Best known for his role in the Harry Potter series as the loveable giant, Rubeus Hagrid, Robbie Coltrane studied at the Glasgow School of Art before embarking on a career as a stand-up comedian and actor. Other notable projects include his role as Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in the James Bond films GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough, and as Dr. Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald in the TV series Cracker.

David Tennant

David Tennant was born in Bathgate, just outside Edinburgh, and has an impressive array of both television and movie credits to his name. His big break came as the Tenth Doctor in the BBC series Doctor Who, before going on to star in other iconic shows including Broadchurch and Marvel's Jessica Jones. As well as this, Tennant has also starred in big-budget movies including the Harry Potter series and the 2018 Mary Queen of Scots movie.


Kelly Macdonald

Born and raised in Glasgow, Kelly Macdonald was working as a barmaid, when she saw a leaflet for an open casting call for a film. She went along and was cast as Diane in Trainspotting. For this breakout role, she was nominated for a BAFTA Scotland Award and began a highly successful acting career. Appearing in several immensly successful television shows and films throughout her carrer so far, some notable projects include Nanny McPhee, Brave, Gosford Park, No Country for Old Men, Line of Duty and Boardwalk Empire.

Image credited to Walt Disney Television