From Hollywood to Denny

Russell Crowe sets his sights on the Falkirk area
Russell Crowe sets his sights on the Falkirk area

Modern day legend of the silver screen Russell Crowe is coming to the Falkirk area to meet an old pal this weekend.

The star of period epics like ‘Gladiator’ and ‘Robin Hood’, as well as cult classics like ‘Romper Stomper’ and ‘LA Confidential’, will be paying a visit to Duncarron, the medieval fortified village created in Carron Valley Forest, near Denny, by The Clanranald Trust.

Among its other activities, the Trust regularly supplies members of its “Combat International” stunt team to appear in battle scenes of Hollywood blockbusters and that’s how Kincardine-based Clanranald chief executive Charlie Allan became firm friends with the world- famous actor.

Charlie’s wife Malin said: “Russell has been friends with my husband for years, since Charlie appeared with him in ‘Gladiator’ in 1999. They haven’t seen each other for a while now - not since they filmed ‘Robin Hood’ a couple of years ago.”

The superstar is in the UK this weekend, taking part in an acting masterclass event in Durham and is using the opportunity to come up to Scotland to visit the site he has heard so much about from Charlie.

It has taken members of the Clanranald Trust quite a few years and a lot of hard labour to complete the towering 2600-log palisade, which will protect their very own village of Duncarron.

In the last few months members have been working on constructing the village’s gates and gate-houses and starting work on the buildings – four large long- houses and four or five round houses – which make up the settlement.

It is hoped Duncarron will help promote Scots heritage and culture and also serve as a tourist attraction, film set, craft centre and unique venue for various events.

Charlie and members of the trust admitted they could not have accomplished this milestone without help from a number of people – including Russell Crowe.

The Aussie hard man showed his soft side - and his considerable clout - when he arranged for a £60,000 battering ram, which featured in his ‘Robin Hood’ film, to be delivered to the trust so they could use it as the centre-piece for Duncarron.

Malin said: “He has been very supportive of the trust over the years and wants to come and see the village for himself. He can only stay for a short time, but he has been very open about the visit and to having people from the press there when he comes.”

The trust has invited The Falkirk Herald to Duncarron to cover the visit, the day and time of which were unconfirmed as we went to press.