SCOTTISH actor Graham McTavish has told how a meeting with Brian Cox helped to change the trajectory of his career.

Known for his roles in Outlander, The Hobbit franchise and Game Of Thrones prequel House Of The Dragon, McTavish has spoken with this week’s Sunday National on the 10 things that changed his life.

He explained how he came across Cox, best known for his performance as Logan Roy in Succession, while they were both starring in different plays at the Dundee Rep Theatre.

McTavish was working on a production of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night while Cox was performing in a version of Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder.

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“I was doing that play with David Tennant and a wonderful actress called Edith MacArthur who is sadly no longer with us,” McTavish explained.

“It’s a family-drama and was directed by a wonderful guy called Richard Baron. I happened to be doing it at the same time Brian Cox was performing in The Master Builder at the same theatre.”

McTavish explained that the Succession star approached him after a performance one night which eventually led him onto greater success.

“I had no connection with Brian (below). I think I maybe bumped into him in the theatre when he was performing,” he explained.

The National:

“We did our play and it was a great production and he came to watch. Afterwards, I went to the bar and he came and found me.

“He told me it was the greatest production of this play he had ever seen, and was very complimentary about my performance. He said he really wanted to work with me.

“That was about 1994 and I’d already done loads of theatre in Scotland but I went to do Richard III in Regent’s Park in 1995 in the open-air theatre and that was a huge change.

“It changed the way I perceived myself and it gave me so many opportunities.”

Love of bourbon

As well as working in the film industry for most of his career, McTavish also spoke with the Sunday National about another of his interests – bourbon.

He jokes that when he first tried the drink, he worried he was “cheating” on Scotland, but now runs his own company – McTavish Spirits.

“I had this typical Scottish view that bourbon is just like American Scotch so they just call it bourbon, and I was very prejudiced about the whole thing,” he said.

“But I got given some at a dinner party by my friend and it just blew me away and I became really guilty so I worried I was cheating on Scotland, given the connection there and the connection with my dad. I was something of a closeted fan.

“But eventually, I met Connor and Paul who approached me about doing the bourbon as a business and I love it.”

Last year, the actor released his first bourbon whiskey which he jokingly said he had “modestly” named McTavish.

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On running McTavish Spirits, he said: “We go into our favourite coffee shop and just expect the coffee to be there but when you actually run it you realise all the things that have to work and it’s the same with bourbon.

“It’s a great decision and I suppose if I was to sum up my life, it’s been about doing things that I learn about while doing them.”

Graham McTavish’s full 10 things that changed my life interview will be available on The National’s website on Sunday, January 21.