Dougray Scott has been speaking to education charity FILMCLUB, as part of its nationwide campaign ‘Power of Film’, which highlights films huge capacity to educate and inspire young people.
The actor - whose numerous film credits include Enigma, Ripley’s Game, Mission Impossible 2, Dark Water and Ever After - spoke to 150 young film fans, who are members of the film club school scheme, about his extensive film career, what inspired him to be an actor, what it was like to work in the film industry and why he believes that watching a wide variety of films is so important for young people.
The actor said; "It’s inspirational and you see people from different parts of the world, not to dissimilar to you as you perhaps thought.
"It can help break down prejudices and social barriers as well, and it’s an incredibly exciting event to go to watch these wonderful stories unfold before your eyes that you can be engaged with emotionally or you can just sit back and get lost for a couple of hours.
"I think that the more variety, the more they understand that all sorts of film from very many different genres make up the film industry and are as equally important as each other. Not all films are huge blockbusters and it is really important that we support, encourage and understand the independent films as well."
He also told the youngsters about becoming an actor, and encouraged them to also follow their dreams; "I came from a school which was pretty rough and drama wasn't really encouraged.
"When I was in my 5th Year they started this drama club and I got involved with that...I kind of knew I wanted to be an actor but it was very difficult from where I came from.
"So the reaction I got from my careers teacher was 'You can't do that, you have to go and join the army or be a plumber or electrician and go and work in the dock yard.' I was kind of up against it right from the start.
"So I've been used to it when someone says; 'No you can't do that', then I'm very determined that I will do what I want to do. So I guess what I'm trying to say is if someone says you can't do something don't listen to them!"
Dougray has many new film projects in the pipeline, some of which he discussed with the group; "I'm doing a movie in London - it’s a thriller set on a train actually, it's a really brilliant script as well. It's one of those scripts you read and go 'wow, that's pretty special'.
And then after that I'm doing a movie in Louisiana called Dirt Road To Lafayette. It's a story about a father who's lost his daughter and wife to cancer and he has a 15-year-old son who he goes on this road trip with him to see his uncle in America.
"And it's really about how they both deal with that loss differently and the son is very much into music and he finds himself and blossoms in the music scene in Louisiana, and the father is kind of less adept at coping with the grief than his son is, which is the interesting part about the story."
Commenting on his visit to The John Fisher School, Dougray said: "I thought it was great, I really enjoyed myself.
"The questions were really intelligent. I find it really inspiring being around young people talking about the film industry, making that connection, getting their response. It was a fantastic day, and I really enjoyed myself."