Once upon a time, in the late sixties and
early seventies, there was a pioneering generation of Scottish filmmakers who made short films
and documentaries. And their dream – the pot of gold at the end of their particular rainbow
– was that one day they might get to make feature films. Bill Forsyth was the one that
made that dream a reality. He went to work with the Youth Theatre. He made That Sinking
Feeling and then he made Gregory’s Girl. A film that so perfectly captured adolescent
feelings and first love and romance and school days. And so, specifically captured it in
Cumbernauld. It was a film that kind of had a resonance for the whole world and
has become one of the most beloved Scottish films ever made. So, we’re particularly pleased
to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film today. -The very first day I went along to the Youth
Theatre – to join – they were rehearsing a scene from Gregory’s Girl. So, I knew about
it, kind of, fairly early on. I mean, it was a big part of the Youth Theatre for years,
wasn’t it? While Bill was trying to raise the money for it. We used to meet on a Friday night in Bridgeton
– for the Youth Theatre – and one night, the director, John Baraldi says “Oh, I want to
introduce you to somebody. This is Bill Forsyth – he’s a filmmaker. He wants to make a film
with you.” And we all sort of went “Aye, right.” -You had a very different experience in a
way because you hadn’t got used to him being in the back of the hall for weeks and
months. And you served him in a restaurant, didn’t you? Yes, after school I used to have a part time
job as a waitress in a restaurant in Glasgow called The Spaghetti Factory which was kind of
quite legendary at that time. And he was with another director the night I met him and they
said to me “I’m going to make a film.” And I was like “Yeah, yeah.” Just like you Rab.
As if it’s the most normal thing in the world for somebody to say to you “I’m going to be
making a film. Would you like to be in it?” “Alright. Okay.” -Dee, tell us how you came into Bill Forsyth’s
world? And how were your football skills? -I don’t know if I had many football skills.
We did used to kick a ball around with friends just down at the local park. But, when I first
met Bill, I believe a lady that was working with Bill on the production had worked with
me on a commercial where I was dancing – a bit different to football – but she seemingly
sort of pointed out that I might be energetic enough to cope with the football. I then was
asked to go for a football screen test which was a bit nerve wracking. I actually missed
that interview because I was so nervous I was sick and went back home from the bus stop. -It’s a glamorous life, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s a glamorous life being an actress.
So, I went home and I phoned Bill and I made some sort of feeble excuse. I didn’t admit
to vomiting at the bus stop and he says “Oh, it’s okay. We’ll do it tomorrow.” So, the
next day – controlled the nerves and got to Patrick Thistle’s ground and ran about with
a football. Trying to do I don’t know what. -I mean, we had a great time. It was a laugh,
you know? That was the thing, we were having a ball and getting paid for it – it was brilliant.
Everybody knew I think that it was something pretty special we were involved in but nobody
had any idea just how special that would become. And I think you’ll agree, it is a pretty special
thing especially, you know, part of the Scottish film history and stuff like that but it was
unbelievable to be involved in it, you know? It’s just the typical thing in Glasgow, you
know? People asking what you’re doing, you know? And you’re saying “Oh, I’m making a
film.” You know? And they go “Oh aye, right. Very good.” And my Dad didn’t believe me and
even doing That Sinking Feeling, you know, I said “Oh, I’m making a film!” And he’s like
that “Right, aye. Very good.” You know? And that was it.That was as excited as he got
until he went to see it. It was showing at The Classic Grand, right? And he was mortified
cause it was in the porn cinema. With my name! Letters that size outside it. He was mortified. -And was there not many years later maybe
when you were in America and discovered that it was some director’s particularly favourite
film perhaps? -I took my mum to New York for the first time
and I took her to this restaurant called The Tribeca Bar and Grill which is owned by Robert
De Niro. And there was a real old school New York waiter who served us and who loved my mum and aunts
– not interested in me or my sister at all – but was like really like the aunties, you
know? One of those old guys. And he said “We have a cinema upstairs.” And all this, so
went upstairs and so went up the stairs to see the cinema and it was Martin Scorsese’s
private screening room and of course he’s going “We’ve had some great nights here.”
And my mum, of course, couldn’t resist the opportunity to say “Claire’s an actress, you
know?” And he was like “Really?” And she said “Yes, yes. She’s been in a film called Gregory’s
Girl.” And he was like “Oh my god! That’s one of Marty’s favourites!” So, that’s one
of my big claims to fame. Please join me in thanking the fantastic cast
of Gregory’s Girl.

About the author


  1. Fuck I still love Clare..She's still cute as fuck..(s'cuse the language). Bin watching Altered images vid's..Wow, she was/is stunning.

  2. totally agree with you there…
    Gregory ended up with Susan.. such a lucky guy.
    CP Grogan aka Clare Grogan is a very attractive woman..then and now.

  3. This was great. thanks so much for the post..I would have loved to have been here at the taping..I was wondering if a longer version is available?

  4. clare grogan was one of my first girlfriends. I used to date her when she went to Notre Dame high. Good to see she is still as nice looking even at 50

  5. I discovered this film in 1981 when I was 9 years old. Loved it so much, I watched it every single time it came on HBO for like a whole year! We didn't have a VCR back then and couldn't afford to actually buy a movie. I still cherish this film to this day. My kids even adore it, mainly because of the silly and funny sounding dub. Still among my top 5 movies of all time.

  6. This film was such a part of my youth. Great memories sitting with my brother and his friends laughing, loving, and reciting every memorable part. Great to see this 30 year anniversary clip.

  7. Clare grogan is propably the most intelligent gorgeous woman i have ever seen she just improves with age she is not a fine wine but is a perfect malt her voice and looks just melt me and allways has done since the 80's i have been married and divorced twice but can never find my clare!

  8. This film so reminded me of myself when I was in high school. Awkward, geeky, sexually frustrated and very girl crazy! I still love it. But Robert Buchanan has hardly changed at all over 30 years!

  9. I think one of the main reasons why this film worked so well is that the actors played their roles in a very believable manner. Perhaps, this is because they were barely a year, or more, past their last school years. Robert Buchanan had some of the best dialogue: "She has funny ears."

  10. I was in Scotland the summer  the film came out, not far from  where the shooting took place. Holds alot of memories this wonderful film, and, as life has many surprises, met Clare at London bus top 3 years afterwards.  Dreams can come true (smile)

  11. If you're on twitter and love the film please follow @gregorysgirldoc for exclusive clips, interviews, locations pics and even the chance to win props etc. We Love Gregory's Girl is a fan driven professional documentary which started shooting in July 2014. Join us on our Gregory's Girl Quest 🙂

  12. Is it true that bDee was offered the npart of Murrin in Braveheart but knocked it back cos she was'nt willing to get her tits out

  13. Love the fact that Clare has a claim to fame too, just like a lot of us, As if she needs one! Always loved Gregorys Girl ever since i saw it at the cinema in Whitby. Oh so many years ago.

  14. I have this rare film for sale on Ebay!

  15. I love this movie. It was one of my favorite 80s movies. I watch it all the time. I hope one day it's U.S. fans like myself get a Bluray special edition or a steelbook.

  16. This movie is just beautiful. The work of Bill Forsyth is absolutely impressive, particularly "Gregory´s Girl", "Local Hero" and certainly the marvellous "Housekeeping" ( which features the music of the congenial Michael Gibbs ). The cast is always unspent and impressive. I am just wondering, what characters like Allison Forster, William Greenlees and Dee Hepburn are doing nowadays ?

  17. They're all looking fantastic 30 years after the film came out. It is one of the greatest British films. I'll be going to Scotland soon so I'm hoping to visit some of the film locations in Cumbernauld. I also remember Clare when she was in Altered Images and Red Dwarf. She also appeared in Father Ted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *