Scotland is just six degrees of separation away from the Oscars

Six Degrees of Separation is a good fun game when you’re trying to link anyone to anyone else on the planet, in just six people.

And ahead of this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, Visit Scotland has been playing the game too, to connect film-makers with Scotland.

From Macbeth to Mission Impossible, Highlander to The Da Vinci Code, Scotland has had many starring roles.

Its scene-stealing beauty has captured the attention of award-winning film-makers, leading stars of stage and screen and audiences across the world.

Ahead of the 90th Oscars ceremony, Scotland’s own stars of the big screen are being promoted in a special map linking this year’s Oscar contenders with film locations across the country.

VisitScotland’s Six Degrees movie map

Six Degrees of Scotland, connects each of the Best Actor and Best Actress nominees with a movie filmed on-location in Scotland – in just six simple steps.

Each actor links to the next by a film they have appeared in together, until the chain reaches the Scottish film.

It is inspired by the six degrees of separation theory in which everyone in the world can be connected to each other in six steps or fewer, and with about 50 million people world-wide claiming Scottish ancestry, there are already plenty of connections to be made to Scotland.

· Daniel Day Lewis (Phantom Thread) to Mrs Brown (Scottish Borders)

As the only man to win three Best Actor Oscars, Daniel Day Lewis could easily have been linked to a number of Scottish films, but it’s his work with Joan Allan in the Crucible which saw his six steps lead to a royal connection in the Scottish Borders, with the 1997 success Mrs Brown. Telling the story of Queen Victoria’s relationship with a Scottish servant, Mrs Brown brought together the acting talents of Dame Judi Dench as the formidable monarch and comedian Billy Connelly as John Brown. The privately owned Duns Castle, which offers a range of luxurious accommodation, assumed the role of Balmoral, while stables at Manderston – a magnificent Edwardian mansion in Duns -doubled for those at Windsor Castle.

First light at sunrise over Old Man of Storr, on the Isle of Skye

· Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) to Macbeth (Isle of Skye)

The unsettling undertones of 2017 horror Get Out, and the 2015 adaptation of Shakespeare’s notorious play, Macbeth, are a fitting pairing. While rising British star Kaluuya played an American photographer; Irish actor, Michael Fassbender took on the role of the doomed Scottish King. However, it was the Isle of Skye that nearly stole the show. Many of Macbeth’s spectacular shots were filmed on the island. In one scene, Fassbender’s lead character can be seen riding past the striking Old Man of Storr, while in another the Quiraing provides the backdrop as Macbeth returns from battle and is appointed The Thane of Cawdor. The magical beauty of the Fairy Pools and Sligachan Glen can also be spotted.

· Denzel Washington (Roman J Israel, Esq) to Whisky Galore (2016) (Aberdeenshire)

Another Oscar regular, Washington is one of the industry’s greatest character actors so why not link him to one of Scotland’s best-loved character actors, James Cosmo and his turn in classic comedy Whisky Galore? The 2016 movie, which is based on the 1947 novel by Compton Mackenzie and inspired by the real-life sinking of the SS Politician off the coast of Eriskay in 1941, was shot in a number of Scottish locations, including, St Abb’s Head in the Scottish Borders and the Aberdeenshire villages of Pennan and Portsoy. The latter is a charming port village lying on the Moray Coast, famed for its remarkable harbour, its well-known local jewellery made from ‘Portsoy marble’ and its role as host of the an annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival.

· Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) to Mission Impossible (Dumfries and Galloway)

While the hard-hitting drama of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri may seem a world away from the stunt-packed antics of Mission Impossible, the two can be joined thanks to stars like Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise and Kirstin Scott-Thomas. The first big screen outing of American spy Ethan Hunt saw the Annan line in Dumfries double for the south of England in the film’s climax as Cruise’s Hunt clings to the roof of a train as it speeds towards the Channel Tunnel. Take the line and enjoy a dram at the Annandale Distillery. A short distance away you’ll also find The Devil’s Porridge Museum in Eastriggs, while a few miles north in Ecclefechan is the birthplace of prolific writer and social commentator, Thomas Carlyle.

Castle Stalker was a location for Monty Python and the Holy Grail

· Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) to Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Argyll)

One of Britain’s finest actors had to be linked with one of the UK’s finest cult comedies. Monty Python fans will be familiar with Castle Stalker or ‘the Castle of Aaaaarrrrggghh’ in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This picturesque castle is surrounded by water and located 25 miles north of Oban in Argyll. Although privately-owned, a limited number of tours are run each year and can be arranged by prior appointment.

· Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) to Rob Roy (Stirlingshire)

Love is the obvious connection between Sally Hawkin’s performance in the Shape of Water and Jessica Lange’s in Rob Roy. The latter played the wife of legendary Scottish folk hero Rob Roy MacGregor in Michael Caton-Jone’s 1995 film. Filmed mostly in the Highlands, Stirlingshire and Perthshire, the production included filming at Drummond Palace in Perthshire, in the heart of Rob Roy Country. Film fans can also follow in the footsteps of the Scottish ‘rogue’ on the Rob Roy Way, a popular walk which runs just over 90 miles from Dryman to Pitlochry

· Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) to The Da Vinci Code (Midlothian)

The Irish starlet is set to make a direct link to Scottish film in a new movie documenting the dramatic events surrounding the reign of Mary Queen of Scots. Nominated for the coming-of-age drama Lady Bird, Ronan’s six steps end at the stunning Rosslyn Chapel. Located in Midlothian, the remarkable building is now one of the region’s top attractions following its appearance in The Da Vinci Code. The Borders Railway means it’s easier than ever to explore Midlothian, whether its hitting the slopes at the Midlothian Snowsports Centre at Hillend or discovering the region’s mining past with a trip to National Mining Museum at Newtongrange,

Daniel Craig starred as James Bond in Skyfall, partly shot in the Highlands

· Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) to Skyfall (Highlands)

Some of the most celebrated names in UK cinema connect Australian actress Robbie to Britain’s most famous spy, James Bond. The iconic image of Daniel Craig’s Bond, alongside Judi Dench’s M, in Skyfall saw film fans flocking to Glen Coe to discover its haunting beauty and recreate the famous scene. Located within the awe-inspiring Lochaber Geopark in the Highlands, the deep valley and towering mountains of Glen Coe were carved out centuries ago by icy glaciers and volcanic explosions. Glencoe village is picturesquely located between the banks of Loch Leven and the mouth of the famous glen, making it the perfect base for exploring the area of Lochaber, known as the Outdoor Capital of the UK.

· Meryl Streep (The Post) to Trainspotting (Edinburgh)

Oscar-royalty Streep, has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood so it’s only fitting she is linked with one of Scotland’s most popular films. The cult hit Trainspotting and its sequel, T2 Trainspotting, made stars of its four lead actors and introduced audiences to another side of Edinburgh. Film fans will immediately recognise the iconic sights of the Capital as Ewan McGregor’s Renton and Ewen Bremner flee down Princes Street in the adrenaline inducing opening credits of the first film or gasp in wonder at the beauty of the Edinburgh cityscape when Renton and Spud run to the top of Arthur’s Seat in T2 Trainspotting. Keep an eye out for Edinburgh’s Old Town, Leith and Edinburgh Airport which all make appearances in the popular sequel.

· Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name) to Highlander (Kyle of Lochalsh)

Chalamet is quickly becoming one of the hottest actors in cinema appearing in two Oscar nominated films this year. His big screen success helps join him to Hollywood heavyweights such as, Matthew McConaughey, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, as well as one of the most recognisable castles in the world. The 1986 adventure fantasy film, Highlander saw Eilean Donan Castle in Kyle of Lochalsh transformed into the castle and the village of Glenfinnan. The striking historical landmark has starred in a number of film and TV series. The surrounding area offers plenty of opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Highlands and experience the best in Scottish wildlife, while the nearby village of Plockton was once voted the most beautiful village in Scotland,

For more information on Six Degrees of Scotland, click HERE.

Click HERE for more information on set-jetting in Scotland.


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