Perhaps this article would be at home in the “Film” section of eLitere, as well. However, I decided to post it with the other interviews not because it is something we wrote, but because it reveals a story I never expected to hear. So today you are invited to enjoy Walk with Giants and learn more about Robert Carlyle, the man who gives life to a plethora of characters, all fascinating in their own way.
The interview is only twenty-three minutes long, but there is so much we learn from it. I’ll be honest, Robert Carlyle the artist fascinates me, but I didn’t think much about the private part of his life, when he is just the man… the son, the father. Well, not until I put together the article with the quotes, but even then it was mostly about his career. And now… where to begin? First of all, let me say something about his voice: it’s pure magic; I love listening to poems read by him and can only hope that he’ll record more novels or literary pieces over time. Having the chance to listen to his own story, that’s heartbreaking and so, so beautiful. Written interviews are good and useful, but a recording will allow access the tone, the feelings and little details we might miss otherwise. Unfortunately, we don’t have a video; that would have made things perfect.
So what does he talk about? About a little boy from Glasgow or “where I came from, and where I went to”. I imagine it would make an excellent bildungsroman. He speaks about harsh times, situations no child should ever face, about poverty, family and how you can make something of yourself even when everything seems to be against you. The moment you reach the end of the recording, you realize that his story could have taken a much gloomier tone, that this man could have followed a much darker and destructive path. And yet there is one important detail that stands out, the one responsible for everything Robert Carlyle is today: love. Oh, and not just some fleeting sentiment. No, I mean the love and tender care coming from his father. I swear, I’ve never heard a man talk with such love and respect about his father.
The interview was recorded in 2010, exactly four years after he passed away and telling this story is a way to keep his memory alive and maybe feel closer to the man who’s no longer there physically. Looking back, Robert Carlyle describes everything that has happened to him as “quite an incredible journey“, all thanks to the man who struggled to keep his child, to protect and raise him well. Here’s a small piece of advice everyone should keep in mind: “If there’s anything you want to ask your parents, ask them before they go, because once they go, they’re gone”. This being brought up, it made me wonder just how many of Mr Carlyle’s questions remained unanswered, how much regret he carries with him. But again, regardless of how depressing the story gets, love and respect are always there; pain fades, love grows.
After Walk with Giants, you’ll definitely look at characters like Gaz (The Full Monty) or Rumplestiltskin (Once Upon a Time) from a different, broader perspective. What will a father do for his son? How far is he willing to go, even if the whole world is against them? Carlyle’s love for westerns also had a say in the way he created certain characters, one of them being Hamish Macbeth. It wasn’t an easy path, but it is amazing to see how this man sees his life, how he took situations that could drag anyone to the ground and turned them into something magnificent. “If I’ve got any role to play, I thing I have to give a voice to the people who don’t have a voice. -…- I’ve made a career out of playing guys who are less than nothing”… now, I don’t know how many actually hear that voice, but when you do hear it, you listen. And you listen carefully; whatever message he wants to send, you can be certain that he will make use of gestures, tone of voice and eyes in a way that will captivate the viewer. You might not enjoy a film, you might even hate the character, but you’ll never complain about the acting.
And finally, let me say a few words about the importance of a family. I don’t mean relatives. Obviously, our beloved actor speaks of his father, but there is another part of his family he remembers fondly: people who could have been complete strangers to him, those who also faced difficult times. The father-son bond is the protagonist of the story, but there are so many other tales and details in the background, stories that will probably remain unknown. Moving towards the present, Robert Carlyle doesn’t fail to speak of the family he made for himself, about his children and what they mean to him. The little boy is now a great man, a loving father and a fantastic model for all of us.
Take the time to listen to the recording, I promise you won’t regret it. Let me know what you think about it. Once it’s done playing, what part will stay with you? For me… well, family’s always been important, so I truly loved this aspect of his story. There’s that and a piece of advice we hear quite often… different faces, same essence: “Thinking back can tie you up in knots and make you doubt yourself. Keep going forward, keep that water moving“.
by Elena Atudosiei