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The Gold star Jack Lowden: Saoirse Ronan does a better Scottish accent than me

Jack Lowden, star of BBC drama The Gold, says his Irish girlfriend Saoirse Ronan does a better job of his native accent than him.

Nicola Sturgeon, Saoirse Ronan and The Gold star Jack Lowden at the Scottish premiere of Mary Queen of Scots at Edinburgh castle. Credit: Euan Cherry/WENN

Nicola Sturgeon, Saoirse Ronan and Jack Lowden at the Scottish premiere of Mary Queen of Scots at Edinburgh castle. Credit: Euan Cherry/WENN

Jack Lowden – the Scottish star of new BBC drama The Gold, Apple TV’s Slow Horses and Oscar-winning war movie Dunkirk – says his Irish girlfriend Saoirse Ronan is better at doing his native accent on screen than he is.

Ronan and Lowden have been an item since they worked together on historical drama Mary Queen of Scots back in 2018. Both have seen their star rise quickly in the acting world, but Lowden says he is not competitive with his Oscar-nominated squeeze – for a very good reason.

“We are not competitive, not in the slightest,” Lowden told The Big Issue. “Because I’d lose. There is just zero competition, because there is no competition.”

As well as looking after their two-year-old Petit Basset dog, Stella, who “comes everywhere” with them, Lowden and Ronan run a production company alongside producer Dominic Norris.

Arcade Pictures’s next project will be adapting Amy Liptrot’s bestselling memoir, The Outrun. Saoirse Ronan leads the cast, playing Liptrot, while Lowden is on producing duties. It has been a joy working together, he said.

“I just love being around brilliant actors, and she’s one of the very best, so to watch her work again was just such a joy,” Lowden added.

“It was just such an adventure. We went from London to Edinburgh to Orkney to Papey. Amy was heavily involved and co-wrote the script. We’re in the edit now, and it really is coming together in a way that’s marvellous. Saoirse’s performance is just – wow. She does a better Scottish accent than I do.”

The Outrun is due out later this year, but before that, comes The Gold, which starts this week on BBC One. Jack Lowden plays one of the south London criminals involved in the Brink’s-Mat robbery – in which £26 million worth of gold bullion, diamonds, and cash was stolen from a warehouse near Heathrow Airport.

Following on from Slow Horses, in which Lowden stars opposite Gary Oldman, it marks another occasion when the actor has taken on an English accent for his performance. It’s rare he gets to do his own accent for a role, says Lowden, a previously vocal supporter of Scottish independence who was born in England but grew up north of the border.

“It’s a constant source of frustration for me. And it’s not about wanting to be Scottish,” he said. “It’s just about wanting to not be [working] in an accent. It just makes everything so much harder. [In your own accent] you’re twice as free. You’re just more creative. It’s a frustrating thing. But I’m also thankful that I have the ability to do accents. Otherwise you wouldn’t be talking to me.”

In an attempt to look a bit more Scottish, Lowden added that he has recently grown out his beard.

“I always get handed German menus on holiday, because I’m blond. That’s why I started growing my beard out a little bit more because it’s a bit red,” he explained.

The Gold will air on BBC One and iPlayer at 9pm on February 12, with all episodes available as a boxset on iPlayer from launch. Read our interview with Jack Lowden about The Gold here.

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