The life of a Glasgow bin man can at times be colourful and at other times frankly depressing. Collecting garbage in the unforgivable weather conditions the west of Scotland has to offer is not exactly what dreams are made of. For Gary Maitland and amateur dramatics enthusiast he now needs to do two jobs as if working as a Glasgow refuse collector is not enough, he is moonlighting as an actor in Ken Loach’s new film The Angles Share as the main star. So how do you go from Glasgow bin man to a darling of the Cannes film festival and nominee for the Palm D’Or. This Glaswegian has already played small parts in Ken Loach’s previous films Sweet Sixteen and Tickets however is now emerging into a star which may in the end persuade him to give up his job with Glasgow City Council.
Maitland play’s the role of Albert who is the most stupid in the gang and Maitland insists this isn’t acting just being himself. He added that he had many similarities to Albert including not being to comfortable in Scotland national dress the kilt and preferring Buckfast tonic wine to Scotland’s national drink Scotch whisky.
Gary Maitland could be described a typical Glasgow patter merchant with a sharp wit and down to earth attitude. When asked what he would do if the film won the Palm D’Or he stated ‘he would get smashed’ (a Scottish term for drunk). His thick glasses give him much of his character and no doubt have contributed to developing a good sense of humour often to deter bullying at a younger age.
This is only the second time Maitland has been to France, the last time he passed through on a bus to take in a Glasgow Rangers game in the Netherlands. It is refreshing to have an actor who hasn’t spent years in performing arts and acting school but who has been recognised for having natural charisma and acting ability.