Kevin McKidd Interview

Kevin McKidd is a Scottish television and film actor.  He is known for his prominent roles in such movies as, Trainspotting, Hannibal Rising, Made of Honor, and such TV shows as Rome on HBO.  Oh boy, and my wife’s favorite Grey’s Anatomy, where he plays Dr. Owen Hunt.  He will be directing.  He just directed this last weeks past episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Do you ever feel it’s cheating when you’re this big time T.V. American hunk, but you’re really Scottish?

Kevin McKidd:     To me, that’s the fun of acting, you know.  I’ve – I’ve always enjoyed playing characters from, you know, with different accents and, different backgrounds and uh, that, uh, you know, that’s always been the fun part of this job for me.  So, yeah, it is cheating, but I think in the healthiest sense of that word.

LO:      Okay, good.  How in the world does a kid fromScotlandget all the way toHollywood? I mean, you went to school to be an actor.  One day do you just say, “I’m going to be a movie star and move toHollywood?” Or was it more gradual than that?

Kevin McKidd:     Yeah, it was much more gradual.  You know, it was a long road for me.  I made a decision early, you know, right at the time of Trainspotting, I just had the sense that I was a young…I was a pretty immature and green twenty-one year old.   I’m from the Highlands in Scotland and I just knew that at that moment in my life it wasn’t a good time for me to go to LA and so I decided to wait until the phone rang and just keep working in London, and Britain, and Europe until somebody called from Hollywood, instead of me coming out here, and you know, kind of trying to get something going.  And that took fifteen years.

LO:      Geez.

Kevin McKidd:     But eventually it happened, which is great, and I’m very blessed to be here doing what I’m doing right now.  So, yeah, it’s been a long road and, uh, I think I did it the right way though, you know?

LO:      So, what do people back home think or could they care less about the big time Grey’s Anatomy’s star?  What do you they think about you inScotland?

Kevin McKidd:     Oh, back in my hometown I don’t think people, you know, people, uh, seem happy that somebody got out.

LO:      Yeah.

Kevin McKidd:     And, you know, most people are kind of happy for me, you know, because I love my hometown, but there’s not much going on there, you know?  It’s a quiet, rural, little place.  And …

LO:      So…

Kevin McKidd:     … I think people are intrigued by it and kind of want to ask about my life and, and they’re just kind of happy because, you know, I was just this, you know, snotty-nosed kid, from the local housing state, who just kind of got out and done something pretty weird, you know?

LO:      But they don’t really have any idea about the show or…?

Kevin McKidd:     Oh, sure, I mean it’s a big show inEuropeand inBritain.  You know, it’s a very, very popular show and, so, yeah, most people have an awareness of what it is, yeah.

LO:      So, you’re directing this week’s episode.  Why, is the first question and did you have to work hard to get the gig?

Kevin McKidd:     You know, I did…it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.  I’ve been really lucky to work with great directors over the years, you know, Danny Boyle and Ridley Scott and lots and lots of great, talented directors.  So they’ve always inspired me to me to kind of get behind the camera because I’ve watched those guys and seen the job they do.  And on Grey’s I approached them about a year…just over a year ago and said, “Look, I want to start training and learning about directing, can I shadow directors?”  And they said, “Yeah.”  Then they offered me, what they call the webisodes, which are these small episodes that are on the web for Grey’s Anatomy and I directed those.  And that was kind of my tryout.  And then I shadowed directors for months and, eventually they came to me one day and said, “Okay,  here’s your episode.”  And it was kind of a bolt out of the blue, so it was very exiting for me.

LO:      Once again, you’re a big time trained actor, you were in the movie Trainspotting, one of my all time favorite classic movies.  Are you like, “What in the hell am I doing on Grey’s Anatomy?”  Or is it, “I got two kids, I got to get paid, screw this art thing?”

Kevin McKidd:     [Laughs] You know, there’s a lot to be said for the art of Grey’s Anatomy.  It’s a really well written show and, you know there’s definitely an element of being able to…I have young kids. . . and to be able to not live and not be in some motel in some far flung…you know I spent a lot of the early years in my kids’ life in hotels, you know, and not seeing them, and they’re eight and ten  now and I think it…I feel very lucky and blessed that I get to have a great career and job and, and play a great role, and also be able to see my kids more often, you know?

LO:      Do they get sucked into thisHollywoodthing?  And, like, are you guys out at The Ivy eating lunch and they’re…

Kevin McKidd:     Nope.  No, we chose to live in the valley.  We chose to live in Studio City, which is much more, you know, it isn’t as highly charged, let’s put it that way, as being over on the west side, being over in Los Angeles. We could have lived over there but I just think it’s slightly more rounded and normal place to live.

LO:      The Valley’s a lot likeScotland, I mean

Kevin McKidd:     [Laughs] It’s not quite as cold asScotland.

LO:      [Laughs] Once again, I’m not a huge fan of the show, the wife is, but I get this, like, Mcbeefy, and McDreamy…you’re McKidd, right?

KM:     Yes, I’m already a Mic, which is okay.

LO:      You…you started the whole trend, can we say that?

KM:     I did?  No, no.  It was…that whole thing was going on well before I started in the show.

LO:      Well, I guess you just fit right in?

Kevin McKidd:     Yeah, exactly.  That’s why they picked me.  They said it was an easy fit just because of my name.

LO:      Okay.  Before I let you go though, Kevin, here’s the deal;  Please tell me that it’s true. . .rumors floating out there, about you taking the Connor MacLeod role in the Highlander: The Reckoning movie?

Kevin McKidd:     Where did you hear that?

LO:      Well, I’ve got my sources, Kev.

Kevin McKidd:     Well I have heard that rumor as well, but there’s been no official word about it yet, so, you never know.  I’d be happy to consider it.  It’s just one of those great iconic Scottish roles and, I’m proud of my heritage.  You know, I am a true highlander, so, I’d take a look at it if it came my way, sure.

LO:      Okay.   If you’re a true highlander, does that mean you wear kilts to weddings?

Kevin McKidd:     I do. Sometimes. Not always, but sometimes.  I do have three kilts in my wardrobe, yes.

LO:      Kevin, let me just tell you, as, an American man, I want with every fiber of my being to hate that show Grey’s Anatomy  but you actually seem like a nice guy and make me want to watch it.

Kevin McKidd:     [Laughs] Well, thanks, man.

LO:      Kevin, have a great day.

KM:     Thank you. Take care.

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