The Flying Scotsman: Model Turned Actor Craig McGinlay

The Flying Scotsman: Model Turned Actor Craig McGinlay

It’s fair to say, it’s been a busy few years for the model turned actor, as he climbs the ladder of stardom, jet-setting from set-to-set, bulbs flashing in his wake. Here he shares fashion and travel tips.

might recognise Craig McGinlay. He was the guy being lifted
up by a crowd of jubilant Scottish sports fans in Glasgow‘s George Square in the final
scene of IRN-BRU’s Commonwealth Games 2014 commercial. You notice
him immediately – not just because he is physically above everyone
else – but thanks to a sculpted auburn beard (since gone), the
muscular barrel chest, popping biceps and the moment he hoists a
can of IRN-BRU triumphantly into the air. He couldn’t be more
Scottish, even if you stuffed a deep-fried Mars bar in his mouth
and painted the St Andrew’s Cross on his chest.

Once a fitness coach and conditioning specialist for Falkirk, St
Mirren and Glasgow Warriors, within a year of the commercial’s
release Craig found himself modelling everything from suits to
watches, his ruggedly handsome face splashed across magazines and
billboards up and down the country.

Then came a starring role in Guy Ritchie’s Haig whisky
commercial alongside David Beckham, in which he and Becks sip
scotch on the rocks in the Highlands (as you do). Then it was roles
in various indie films about gangs, ghosts and Highland clans
before re-joining forces with Ritchie to shoot Knights of the Round
Table: King Arthur.

The breakthrough

Craig won Breakthrough Star of the Year at the Scottish Style
Awards and has even been touted as the next James Bond. “That’s the
dream,” says Craig. “I look back at Sean Connery and his iconic
Bond. I’d love to fill those shoes.”

Having recently wrapped filming with Ritchie, Charlie Hunnam,
Jude Law and Eric Bana, Craig flew to Milan
for a yet another photoshoot. It’s fair to say, it’s been a busy
few years for the model turned actor, as he climbs the ladder of
stardom, jet-setting from set-to-set, bulbs flashing in his

Fashion picks

“At LCM (London Collections: Men) I must have attended 20 or
more shows. I can’t remember how many suit changes that involved,
but it was intense. It’s great fun though. I get around as much as
I can in the four days. Then on the final evening I was invited to
a dinner hosted by Ralph Lauren, so you can’t just to turn up in
any old thing for that. It was amazing. I felt so privileged to
have been invited.”

Much like David Gandy and male stylist Joe Ottaway (who Craig is
often sat with in the front row at fashion shows), Craig turns to
staple British designers to complete his wardrobe: Chester Barrie,
Dunhill, Burberry, Belstaff. “The more I travel and witness men’s
style across the world, the more I think that Britain is up there
with the best in terms of style.”


But who inspires him? Having worked with some of the best names
in fashion, film and sport, where does he look for sartorial
advice? “Well, Beckham, obviously. Even before I met him I saw him
as someone inspirational. His attitude towards work, training and
style. And, important to a Scot, he enjoys good whisky.”

Having grown up in Paisley, just outside Glasgow and on the edge
of the Gleniffer Braes, Craig moved to London in 2014 and was soon
signed by Storm Model Management and Independent Talent Agency. “I
love London. It has such a buzz. It encourages me to be competitive
and to chase my acting dream.”


“My first holiday was probably to Kilconqhuar in Fife, near St
Andrews. I remember renting bikes and playing tennis with my
brother and sister. We played crazy golf on the St Andrews
Himalayas course as kids. Growing up across the border has
definitely given me an adventurous side and I’m drawn to the
outdoors. We filmed King Arthur in Snowdonia and were very lucky
with the weather. I really enjoyed being away with the cast and
crew, being able to train outside and enjoy meals with the team. It
was a good opportunity to get to know each other and to spend time
in Snowdonia.”

Travel now plays a major part in Craig’s work. He lives a life
run by itineraries, flying all over the world from one shoot to the
next. “Filming with Ritchie and Beckham in Glen Affric [close to
Inverness] was unbelievable. I was driving a Land Rover Defender
through a creek and there was a helicopter with a camera on the
front following me. It was like being part of an action movie and
now I’m definitely looking to do more stunt filming.”

Following that he returned to London, then to Snowdonia, then it
was off to film at Warner Bros. Studios (in Hertfordshire) before
flying to LA
for castings, followed by a photoshoot in Milan. “I met Tom Cruise
at the Warner Bros. Studios earlier in the year. He’s definitely
another inspiration of mine. A great actor who does his own stunts.
Working in films has meant training in horse riding, sword
fighting, martial arts, boxing and jujitsu… It’s all brilliant.”
And brilliant is how life must be for a fitness coach turned actor.
Perhaps we should all start drinking IRN-BRU.

Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur is scheduled for
release in spring 2017

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