The Angels Share at Cannes – Paul Brannigan speaks about next role with Scarlett Johansson

Posted on 23 May 2012
By Carlton Whitfield
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Glaswegian Paul Brannigan has been the centre of a media circus at the Cannes Film Festival, lauded by critics for his breakthrough and for sharing details of his new on screen romance with Scarlett Johansson.

Cannes veteran and British director Ken Loach turned Paul’s life around after casting the 24-year-old in his latest film, The Angels’ Share.

Loach was impressed with his raw acting talent and placed Paul in the lead role as Robbie, a young man with a similar background – the son of drug addicts, drawn to gang violence at an early age and left trying to turn his life around after having a child.

Paul was sentenced to three years in a young offenders’ institution aged 16 for discharge of a weapon. He now has a three-year-old son, Leon.

The Angel’s Share (the term for the amount of malt whisky which evaporates) is a comedy, which see’s Paul’s character sentenced to community service after his latest petty crime.

His supervisor introduces him to the joys of malt whisky, and Robbie hatches a plan to steal from a priceless cask that is coming up for auction at a distillery in the Highlands.

Speaking at Cannes, where he walked the red carpet hours after Brad Pitt and Ray Liotta, Paul spoke out about how this film had changed his life.

He said: “I had nowhere to turn, I’ve got a kid – who knows what I would have done for money.

“I’m very familiar with the situation in this film. My background was quite rough. But, in all honesty, there are thousands and thousands of kids like Robbie with the same story.”

The casting director of The Angels’ Share sent him to audition for a second film, Under The Skin, which was shooting in Scotland and stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien.

He won a role in the production and found himself in a position that many men would envy: being seduced on screen by one of Hollywood’s most desirable women.

Paul added: “I play a guy out on the pull who sees her, goes on the dancefloor and chats her up. I had to strip off, though she didn’t take all her clothes off.

“It was fun and she was an absolutely fantastic girl. I was quite nervous at first but once I got talking to her she was fine.”

He even admitted to dropping a few ‘one liners’ on the A-list Avengers star but the distance between their celebrity status soon became apparent to Paul.

He added: “She was kind of escorted everywhere she went, with bodyguards and stuff. I had an umbrella and a duffel coat.”