Bonnie Prince Charlie actor: I’ve never been to Scotland

AN actor chosen to play Bonnie Prince Charlie on the big screen has admitted he has never set foot in Scotland.

A portrait of Bonnie Prince Charles. An actor who is set to play the instigator of the Jacobean uprising has never visited Scotland, but pointed out the same was once true of the prince. Picture: Contributed

Rising star Jamie Bacon, from London, was selected to play the lead role in the film The Great Getaway.

The film documents the Jacobite uprising of 1745, of which the prince, also known as the Young Pretender, was the instigator.

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It culminates in the Battle of Culloden - which will be the biggest battle scene ever staged in Scotland, with 500 extras at Castle Kennedy, near Stranraer.

Scenes will be shot around Scotland in the coming weeks - and it will be the first time Jamie has ever been in the country.

But the 24-year-old insists he is retracing history, as the prince had also never been to Scotland before he arrived for battle.

“I have travelled widely all over the world, but I’ve never been to Scotland before,” he said.

“But then again neither had Bonnie Prince Charlie before he landed to reclaim the throne - so it will really be like I’m retracing history and playing the part.

“I was really surprised, but delighted, to win the role. I have absorbed myself in studying the prince.

“I will not be using a Scottish accent, after all Charles was not Scottish either. I see him as a very complex and passionate character.”

Jamie, who went to a state school in Dorset and drama college in London, has already appeared in the films The Hoarder and Olive Green, as well as a gang leader in Holby City.

He will star alongside Mhairi Calvey, who made her big screen debut in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, aged just five, 20 years ago.

Director Robbie Moffat said casting the prince had proved difficult but he was confident he had found the right actor.

“We looked at a number of people - and talked to several about the role - over a long time, but finding somebody who was right for the part was a major concern. It held up filming.

“But in Jamie we have found the perfect choice. He is the right age with the right look and can act brilliantly.

“Bonnie Prince Charlie was born in Rome to a Polish mother and an English father - he did not have a Scottish accent.

“One of the things this film is trying to do is rid the story of its myths. It is trying to be as authentic as possible.”

The film is the first to be made about the prince for 60 years, following the 1948 production Bonnie Prince Charlie, which starred David Niven and Margaret Leighton.

Legendary for its catastrophic box-office takings, the film also starred an English actor: Niven. Though he claimed to have been born in Kirriemuir, it was later found that the actor was born in London.