Tuesday, July 24, 2018

"A man of many hats" - an interview with Graham McTavish

Outlander Homepage Originals

As far as Outlander fans are concerned, the name Graham McTavish is synonymous with that of Dougal MacKenzie, war chief of the clan MacKenzie. Yet fans of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies know him as the dwarf Dwalin; while devotees of the TV series, Preacher recognise Graham as the Saint of Killers. It has recently been revealed that he will also appear in the film Aquaman when it premieres later this year, although his character is being kept tightly under wraps. With roles such as these serving as some of the highlights of a distinguished career, you could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps Graham McTavish deserves some time off to relax! Instead, he is preparing to try on yet another hat. The independent film, This Guest of Summer will have Graham at the helm, not only in front of the camera, but also behind it as the film’s director. 

So what is it like to wear so many performing hats? Fortunately for us here at Outlander Homepage, Graham graciously agreed to share some insights. It is not the first time Graham has given his time to us, previously appearing as the guest of honour at An Evening with Graham McTavish in 2016, a charity event hosted by Outlander Homepage for the benefit of the “Action for Children” Organisation. We were keen to discover what he has been up to since then! 

We began by asking Graham about his current project, This Guest of Summer, wondering how he became involved.

“My good friend Paul Kavanagh wrote the film with he and I in mind to perform in it,” Graham said. “But the more I read it, the more I felt I needed to direct it. It’s a very dark horror-comedy. It will be a challenge, but that’s one of the main reasons I wish to do it.”
Graham will be joined in front of the camera by fellow Outlander alumni Duncan Lacroix and Stephen Walters and fans are welcome to contribute to the film’s creation, by donating to its IndieGoGo campaign at 


The thought of Dougal, Murtagh and Angus reuniting should be reason enough to donate some dollars, but as an added incentive, perks are on offer for anyone who does!

Turning from a dark horror-comedy to another dark character, we asked Graham how he approached the creation of the misunderstood, yet ruthless, Saint of Killers. 

I approach SOK as I do all characters,” Graham explained, “from a position of wishing to be truthful to his story. Good and evil doesn’t come into it. He is not evil in his own mind. He is righteous. So I access my own feelings when it comes to defending my own family and go from there.”

With the announcement that Graham will appear in Aquaman, we were keen to ask about his character and his experiences on set. But sadly for us, Graham refused to divulge any information.

“I can’t say who I play in Aquaman, I’m afraid,” he teased. “I’ve been sworn to secrecy.”

Of course all projects need publicity, so we asked if Graham would be in attendance at a popular event: the NYC Comic Con. Between Outlander, Preacher, Aquaman and This Guest of Summer, he could certainly sit on plenty of panels! While his answer will be disappointing for any fans planning on attending, Graham did give us a glimmer of hope for the future.

I won’t be at New York Comic Con this year,” Graham said, “but I did thoroughly enjoy our dinner evening in 2016. I’d love to do THAT again. It was the ideal fan encounter. Such fun!” 

So watch this space! You never know - hopefully there will be a future Outlander Homepage event with Graham as the MC!  

Finally, we returned to the world of Outlander, to ask Graham where he would like to go if he were able to travel through the standing stones. 

“I would travel back to three places,” Graham said. “Firstly, I’d love to go back to Elizabethan London to meet Shakespeare. I’d also like to see Ancient Rome. But finally, and most importantly, I’d love to travel back and see my father again. I’d  spend a day asking him all the things that I wish I had asked him before he passed away.”

We’d like to thank Graham for being so generous with his time and will look forward to seeing him on our screens again soon!

This interview was compiled by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher-librarian who lives in Australia. Personally, she’d love to see Graham appear in a Dougal flashback in a future season of Outlander! 

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