Believe it or not Glasgow is the Hollywood capital of Scotland.
Trainspotting? Set in Edinburgh, majority filmed in Glasgow. Fast and the Furious 6? Major scenes and explosions filmed in and around Glasgow. At one point Tom Hanks and Halle Berry were seen roaming about Glasgow City Centre.
Imagine going for your messages and Forrest Gump steals your parking space in Buchanan Galleries. We’re positive Tom wouldn’t do that. He’d probably just “Run Forrest Run” for his groceries. (Sorry)
Anyway after seamlessly jamming that pun in with a sledgehammer here are a few movies using the glorious (or not so glorious) city of Glasgow to enhance their production.
Monty Python: The Meaning of Life
You remember the sketch? 1st Zulu War, 1879, Glasgow? Turns out was actually filmed at the Campsies. Throw in the added joke with Eric Idle as the Glaswegian soldier who says “you kill people at home and they throw you in jail, but here? Here they give you a f***** medal. Classic Python humour.
Sunshine on Leith
Proclaimers, Hibees and the National Gallery? Sorry Edinburgh, you thought you had this in the bag but Director Dexter Fletcher just doesn’t fancy filming there. They may claim the roads are too narrow, but we know the truth. You’re just not Hollywood enough. We’ve got the Griffin on Bath Street, The majestic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and even the Candleriggs for the date scenes.
ShallowGrave & Trainspotting
Another two Glasgow filming locations we’re afraid. We’re unsure whether we should be proud that Danny Boyle thought Edinburgh wasn’t skag trendy enough to film Trainspotting but oh well we’ll take it. The drug deal flats in London? Actually dilapidated flats on Buchanan Street (Ultra posh today for your information.) The James Bond discussion scene while SickBoy shoots the dog in the derriere? None other than Rouken Glen, Thornliebank.
Under The Skin
Quite a recent one but the previously presumed unfilmable novel, which eventually starred Scarlett Johansson and a bunch of random Glaswegians. (Seriously she cruised about in a van trying to “seduce” strangers.) Places such as Buchanan Galleries or Buchanan Street, She even ventured into The Shed in Shawlands for a lumber. Oh and went for a wander amongst Celtic fans as they left a match at Celtic Park. (Oh by the way she played an alien murderess.)
Not exactly a movie, but a TV series with a £50 million pound+ budget definitely fits into the blockbuster mould. Outlander, produced by the creators of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica is proclaimed as “Scotland’s Game of Thrones.” Apart from when on location filming around the country, the majority of the series is filmed in a warehouse in Cumbernauld. (Recently the producers even had the red carpet premiere simultaneously in the Grosvenor Cinema as well as London.)
A strange one, Created by Louis Leterrier (future director of The Incredible Hulk) featuring Morgan Freeman, Jet Li and the late great Bob Hoskins, filmed and set in Glasgow. Bob Hoskins plays an ultra bad guy who keeps Jet Li in a cage trained as a sort of UFC fighter/guard dog. Morgan Freeman plays a blind piano tuner who teaches Jet Li there’s more to life than fighting. The Art School makes an appearance so does Blackfriar’s Bar in the Merchant City and a few factory locations. Strange movie
Fast and the Furious 6
Probably the most peculiar on the list, but Justin Lin managed to turn Glasgow’s Broomielaw into a London blockbuster action scene. Wellington Street and Cadogan Street were also closed for a period of time. There was even talk of filming inside Clyde Tunnel. However imagine Robert from accounts driving home through the Clyde Tunnel similar to every other day and a twelve ton tank doing a triple flip in front of him. Mentally scarred for life
World War Z
We couldn’t leave Brad Pitt’s epic zombie movie off the list, turning Glasgow’s George Square into a riot inflicted Philadelphia. Rumours that the Glaswegian extras looked less terrifying with zombie make up on were otherwise undeclared. (Apparently a few of them were simply leaving work in the pouring rain, with their makeup running down their face.)