Scottish actor Finlay MacMillan is as far from the moody character of Enoch O'Connor that he portrays in Tim Burton's latest movie "Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar Children" as they come. He is cheeky, happy and hillariously funny. It was the kind of days of photoshoot that you want to put on repeat and do over and over again.
Finlay plays Enoch O’Connor; a ‘Deadraiser’ kid from Tim Burton’s film who can temporarily resurrect the dead. The Scottish actor surged and spurned us on for the day with his quirky sense of humour, peppering his own hilarity with Burton-esque peculiarity (coincidentally his favourite word from the film “because I can’t really pronounce it that well - peculiarlarity?”).
Working with Tim (note the first-name-terms) for his first feature film, Finlay recalls memories of his five-year-old self fantasizing about working with the director, the inner child who was ‘screaming out loud’ throughout the whole filming process as Finlay used his powers to bring his dreams to life. “I was very nervous about it all, my first film being with Tim Burton, but I can’t think of anyone that was nothing but very pleasant to be around. The first time I met Tim, I was shitting myself, but he stubbed his toe on his desk and that was amazing, because it made me feel less nervous. He is very down to earth, and I couldn’t have asked for a better director. As a person he is quite calm and I would love to work with him again and again and again and again and again... he’s just so incredible. Tim’s a really funky, cool and weird guy. In a great way.”
Like his BBG predecessor Asa Butterfield, he is among a generation of young actors who have successfully bridged boyish charm with grounded maturity. Despite still being young within the industry, Finlay has years of dedication behind him that have led him to his current much-deserved success. “When I was at school and I said that I wanted to be a film actor, it was genuinely laughable, people did not think that was gonna happen. I was in primary school and said that I really wanted be an actor and my teacher was like, ‘what, like Brad Pitt?’ and I was like ‘aye!’, and she laughed and said ‘in your dreams’. When I was five, my dad told me what an actor was, with the script and the cameras and all that sort of stuff. At that age, I thought movies were real and he told me that they weren’t, which I remember finding quite sad actually. But it was from that moment that I was sure this was something that I want to do.”
To see the full 10-page editorial in issue 11 "Imagined Songs" beyond the below teaser images, the print issue is available in stores and via the BBG Shop.
Photography by Cecilie Harris
Fashion by Christopher Preston
Hair by Jody Taylor
Make-Up by Andrea Chiu
Interview by Cecilie Harris
Words by Jonny Clowes