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30 May 2012 Written by 

Kirsty Strain

Glasgow born actress Kirsty Strain talks to CC Says about her role in soap Rivercity, dressing up as Charlie Chaplin and reveals to us her plans for a screenplay.

You can follow Kirsty on Twitter @kirstystrain

Can you tell us what you have been up to lately?

Most recently, I have been filming, ‘River City’ for BBC Scotland which has kept me pretty busy and I now have some time to spend with family and friends, just as we are getting nice weather so the timing is perfect for a wee week off before my next round of work kicks in.

Your portrayal of Angie in Rivercity has really captured everyone, have you enjoyed playing this part?

It’s been brilliant. I have really enjoyed it. She is a challenging role and in the spirit of loving a challenge, I have really embraced it. Everyone involved in River City has made me feel so welcome and the feedback on how well the character of Angie has been received has been really encouraging. I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to work with some really great people and have also learned a lot from the process.

What is the process you go through to get into the character of someone like Angie?

I start with my initial instincts and bring what I can relate to the character but there are obviously aspects of her life experiences that vastly differ from mine so I spent a lot of time researching the issues which surround the character and fully exploring the relationships she has with others as well as the relationship she has with herself. As an actor, I think you have a responsibility to be as authentic as you can in representing the role (particularly a role like this) as accurately and appropriately as possible and I hope that’s come across in this case. She’s a great character to play and I’ve loved being a part of this storyline.

Are you looking forward to filming another series of Burnistoun? What can we expect from the new episodes?

We’ve completed filming on the third series and I can honestly say this is the most fun I have had and I feel that this will be the best series to date. There are some terrific new characters as well as some much loved familiar faces and I think the collection of sketches for each episode will have something for everyone to enjoy. The Burnistoun audience are brilliant and so supportive so we want to give them the best we can give. I love working with the writers (Robert Florence and Iain Connell), who also perform in the show and all the cast and crew. We tend to have most of the same team on each series so it feels like a family and even the new additions to the team settle in quick to just being a brilliant part of things. Everyone works to the support of the show and it’s brilliant fun. It’s one of the best environments to work in. Everyone should live in Burnistoun  Series 3 is expected to be televised in June.

Who are your role models in the acting world?

Well, there are actors that I think are really gifted and an example of just what you can achieve if you are dedicated to your craft, such as Daniel Day Lewis and Gary Oldman.

In terms of a brilliant body of work, I think Julie Walters has done wonderful things. From her comedic work in things like ‘Wood and Walters’ and ‘Acorn Antiques’ to moving dramatic portrayals in things like, ‘A Short Stay in Switzerland’ and ‘Mo’, not to mention all her brilliant work in theatre. Her career spans a great variety of roles and genres and is one of terrific longevity. I would love to accomplish such a body of work. It would be great to have the opportunity to work with her. I would love to work with Daniel Day Lewis and Gary Oldman too. Ah, the stuff that dreams are made of but why not?

Is there anyone you would love to play in a film?

I recently did a photo shoot for Glasgow based Photographer Michele Dillon, for her ‘Icons Project’ in the role of Charlie Chaplin and I loved it. Now that would be a challenge as a female actor to embody that role in film.

If you weren’t acting, what would your other ideal job be?

I honestly don’t think I could do anything else. I do write and am working on my first screenplay but I think I’d go mad if that was my full time occupation. I still haven’t got out of my own way as far as writing goes. I suppose it’s still very new to me and I’d never think of myself as a writer but it so happens I have this story to tell and so here I am putting it together. I do love facilitating workshops and have worked as a drama facilitator, which is very rewarding but I’m always brought back to acting.

You moved to London last year, but now based in Glasgow – what do you like about Glasgow?

I’m happy to travel anywhere for work and live in different places and I’ve had great experiences living in London and New York. I also enjoyed living in Oxford when I was there but I suppose I come back to Glasgow because it’s home for me. It’s where my family is and while I may go and live in London or somewhere else for work, Glasgow is always there for me. It’s a great city with a great heart and I’m always welcomed back with open arms.

What is your ideal day/night in town? Where do you like to go?

I feel like I’m discovering the city all over again at the moment. I love going to the West End, going to see the afternoon play at Oran Mor and taking a walk down Ashton Lane. With this good weather and a day off, I’d maybe start with having breakfast at this place called Coia’s Café in Dennistoun, they’ve had a place there for as long as I can remember and it’s always been great. So good that it’s expanded and just kept making improvements since I was a wee girl. Going there always brings back great childhood memories even though the premises have moved along the road since I was that age. So I’d start there and then go to a Play, Pie and Pint at Oran Mor and sit outside in their beer garden afterwards and then go for wander through Ashton Lane and into a few of the bars there and then see where the night takes me. There’s loads of restaurants in that area that are good for an evening meal and it’s a nice atmosphere. Then again, anywhere in Glasgow is great when you’re with good friends and/or family.

What are your plans for the rest of 2012?

In terms of work, I’m developing a documentary and writing my first screenplay and in between that, I’ll see what acting work comes my way. I’m excited for Burnistoun to be televised in June and I’ll have appearances in River City, which are spread out for the next wee while. I’d also like to get in a bit of travel and start learning French again. For some of my close friends, that’s their first language so I’d like to pick it up.


Carla is a full time journalist and loves to spend her free time indulging in her passion, which is all things beauty, lifestyle and music.

Her idea behind CC Says is to not only provide a beauty and lifestyle news service, but also carry the important message, that all women are amazing and their beauty, brains and personality should be celebrated.

Lets hear it for the girls!