Eyebrows were raised when it emerged in my interview for RT with Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh that “good guy” actor James McAvoy would “love to play Jimmy Savile,” should Welsh ever write a script about the late, utterly disgraced television personality. And none more so than McAvoy’s.
Although Welsh related the story to me with conviction – and, it has to be said, in the context of great praise for the actor’s fearlessness – it turns out that McAvoy has no memory of vocalising this wish and denies making the statement.
The author of the controversial novel Filth, in whose impressive new movie adaptation by writer/director Jon S Baird McAvoy delivers a head-spinning turn as a degenerate Edinburgh police detective, seems to have misremembered the conversation, as McAvoy’s publicists are keen to point out that he has no interest in ever playing Savile.
They have issued the unequivocal rebuttal: “James did not make that statement. He has never expressed interest in playing the role of Jimmy Savile.” Welsh has yet to comment on the matter.
Anyone hoping that the much-loved actor and X-Men star would take on such a testing part will be disappointed to learn that it will never happen.