Ms Thompson starred as Suzi Kettles in Tutti Frutti, the acclaimed television series written by John Byrne that is shortly to be released on DVD for the first time.

In an interview in today’s Herald Saturday magazine, the award-winning actress and screen-writer – whose mother, Phyllida Law, is from Glasgow – said that one of the qualities of Byrne’s signature work was that it concerned Scotland and its often troubled relationship to the talent amid its population.

She says: “Tutti Frutti is very much about Scotland – about what will be put up with and accepted as OK, and the tragedy is that there’s such genius in the country but also so many inhibitions and so much misery.

“There’s nobody more f****** joy-sucking than one of those old Scotsmen who hates pleasure in all its forms.

“I understand why so many Scottish artists and actors leave. They have to, because they can’t get any air, they feel stifled.

“There’s a tremendous rage in Scotland – and that’s one of the things you see in Tutti Frutti. Simmering, boiling rage – and of course rock ’n’ roll’s a great outlet for that.”

Thompson says Byrne is one of the cleverest men she has met and is the “Scottish Shakespeare”, adding that “Tutti Frutti was some of the best material I’ve ever had to work on – just sublime.

“It’s got comedy, tragedy, all the elements – but it’s written in such a way that they can all live and subsist together, because they were written by a genius.”

Thompson has ­visited Scotland since her youth, and she and husband, the actor Greg Wise, were married in Dunoon in July 2003 and have a second home there.

This week Tindyebwa Agaba, her adopted son, originally from Rwanda, graduated from the University of Exeter.

Thompson won her part in Tutti Frutti at the age of 27, and it was her first major role on screen: she followed it up shortly after with her role in Fortunes of War, which shot her to fame.

She has since won a Best Actress Oscar for Howard’s End in 1992 and for Best Adapted Screenplay for Sense And Sensibility in 1995, and is also known for her roles in In The Name Of The Father, The Remains Of The Day and Love Actually.

Recently she said: “I do feel Scottish. Not only because I am half Scottish but also because I’ve spent half my life here. I think Scotland is the most beautiful place in the world and I’ve been all over the world.”

She regards her role in Tutti Frutti, where she plays a waitress who becomes a reluctant member of the rock band The Majestics, as one of her best performances. She is currently filming the second Nanny McPhee movie, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang.

In the interview she reveals how she won the part through her friendship with fellow actor Robbie Coltrane, whom she had worked with on the comedy series Alfresco in 1983. She read the script with two friends, actress Siobhan Redmond and the playwright and poet Liz Lochhead, before she auditioned for the part.

Thompson said she has warm memories of shooting the series.

“We were a bunch of gypsies, disreputable and not at all grand. We were staying and filming in these lovely wee places. That was what was so great about it – it was so not Las Vegas.

“Then, when we were doing the last bit of the shoot in Glasgow, I stayed with Liz Lochhead for a while, and then I was in rooms in the west end – I just stayed with whoever had a room for 30 quid a week or whatever. At the weekends, I would drive to Ardentinny where my grandparents lived, in my mum’s wee red Mini. It was great.”

Tutti Frutti will be released on DVD on August 3.

Phil Miller

Arts Correspondent