BACK in June 1990, this paper’s entertainments editor, Andrew Young, interviewed Peter Capaldi, then 32, on the subject of his acting career.

Seven years earlier, Capaldi had been in Bill Forsyth’s film Local Hero, but he had moved to London afterwards because he had been unable to get much acting work in Scotland.

His London breakthrough came at the Young Vic, where he auditioned for Frank Dunlop, later director of the Edinburgh Festival: “Just tiny parts”, Capaldi recalled, “but it was great because it was like learning from scratch. Getting into Local Hero was great, too, but it just taught me that I didn’t really know anything about acting.’’

He had bit-parts in such TV shows as Crown Court and Minder; a turning-point, noted Young, came when he co-starred with Stewart Granger in a 1987 TV adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Story of a Recluse. “This was a powerful performance and showed that the physically lightweight Capaldi could handle heavy acting”.

In 1988 Capaldi and his girlfriend (and, later, wife) Elaine Collins starred in the Tom and Sammy Jo Show, a vivid, well-received spoof of American TV evangelism, at the Tron Theatre (main image), during Mayfest. (Capaldi is also pictured above, in 1983).

Noted Young: “He has a sensitive, mobile face that adapts to a wide range of roles. He is still unduly modest about his own talents, plays them down as they never reach the standards for which he is looking. The fact that he is now automatically offered leading roles he attributes to the fact that he has got older”.

He also recalled a conversation with Burt Lancaster on the set of Local Hero; Lancaster, he said, told him that he thought Capaldi was a natural actor who would go far”. As indeed it has proved.

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