MARTIN Compston has shown off his new Gaelic skills at the Glasgow Film Festival, revealing that learning the language “definitely wasn’t easy”.
The Line of Duty star said they were “teaching Gaelic on a trial basis” for an upcoming BBC documentary project to find out “where Gaelic sits in modern Scotland”.
The Scottish actor was in Glasgow for the 20th anniversary screening of Ken Loach’s Sweet Sixteen, the film that made his career as a schoolboy in Greenock a household name.
The National asked Compston if he could show what he had learned.
READ MORE: Martin Compston says problems in Sweet Sixteen are now “more than ever”.
The actor then said: “Is mise Martin. Is toigh leam Irn Bru. Tha mi à Alba”, which translates as: “I am Martin. I like Irn Bru. I’m from Scotland. ”
He added that he recently found the expression “càite bheil an teine?”. which means “where’s the fire?” what they said “cracked me”.
“I’m getting there,” he said. “When I started I thought it was something that was in my blood somewhere and it was going to come easy, and it’s definitely not easy.
“But I enjoy it. It’s just something that becomes a hobby. I look forward to doing it and hopefully it gets better over time.”
There were rumors Compston would be arriving in Glasgow in one of the tracksuits he wore in Sweet Sixteen, but the actor told The National: “I bottled it.”
They said, “I have to find it [them] because Carol, our lovely wardrobe designer for Sweet Sixteen, is here and kept them all. The pair were my actual tracksuits back then. I think she hid them somewhere.”
Compston, who lives in Las Vegas with his wife, said it was emotional to be back in Scotland with the Sweet Sixteen crew.
From left: Paul Laverty, Annmarie Fulton, Martin Compston and Rebecca O’Brien
He said: “We still have our place at Greenock. I’ve been here and down in London lately promoting Our House.
“It feels quite emotional to come back here and see the boys for sure. Twenty years feels like flying.”
He said he’s “excited and nervous to see Sweet Sixteen again,” and said he’ll likely “cringe” at the sight of his 17-year-old self.
When asked if he could go back and ask his teenage self if he believed his success, Compston replied, “No. Well, I mean, you have to have a little faith in yourself. I think you do this [industry].
READ MORE: Alan Cumming on the microcosm of Edinburgh explaining the need for independence
“I think there’s a lot to be said for having a chip on your shoulder. I always feel like I have to prove something.
“I feel like that keeps me motivated, keeps me going and I don’t get complacent. In some ways I don’t think it would have happened to me, but in other ways I would never bet against myself. Who knows where I’ll go from here.”
Martin Compston was in Glasgow for the Sweet Sixteen 20th Anniversary
When asked why Sweet Sixteen has been in Scots’ minds for 20 years, Compston said: “A lot of it has to do with Ken [Loach] and the guys, they have such a great track record of filmmaking.
“And it’s just the truth, because that’s the thing, looking back at it, would I kind of cringe because I didn’t know what I was doing on set and why I was doing it?
“But that’s why it was so good, because it was so raw. I probably couldn’t show that performance now because I was fearless. I would worry too much about camera angles and all that stuff that’s in your subconscious now, but back then I didn’t care. ”