The Brave Kelly Macdonald

Celebrity Q&A, People
on August 7, 2012

I just saw the new animated film “Brave,” and I was curious what part of Scotland the woman who was the voice of the princess is from.
—Mary McFerguson, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Kelly Macdonald, 36, was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, where she worked as a barmaid before finding success as an actress. Her first film role was “Trainspotting” in 1996. Since then she has starred in the motion pictures “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Finding Neverland,” “Gosford Park” and “State of Play,” to name a few.

She also has been nominated for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actress for her role as Margaret Schroeder in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”

“Brave” is the first time Macdonald has voiced an animated film. She was joined by fellow Scottish actors Billy Connolly, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson and Robbie Coltrane. She says the funny thing about Disney/Pixar using so many Scots in order to get the accent correct is, “I’m Scottish and I’ve read things that have said I’ve got a terrible Scottish accent!”

One thing Macdonald did not know when she agreed to play the redheaded, headstrong Princess Merida is that she is the first female Pixar protagonist. “Attention to detail is not my strong point, so it totally passed me by that I was going to be the first female protagonist in a Pixar movie–really until I recently started doing interviews.

She has very much enjoyed playing a princess. “I wasn’t Merida-like when I was a teenager. She is very adventurous and outdoorsy and I was not. I was indoors-y. And I got to be cheeky and obnoxious to my mom, which was quite fun.”