She came to widespread attention playing the part of English character Amanda – the vicar’s love interest in ITV drama Grantchester.
Now Scots actress Morven Christie has revealed she consciously shuns her true accent when auditioning as she thinks it would work against her.
Christie was forthright in discussing what she sees as the limitations of being an actor based in Scotland and the relative lack of work opportunities that entails.
She told The Radio Times: ‘If you don’t live in London, you’re not [seen as] part of the top level.’
The 42-year-old actress, born in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, said that even when dramas do shoot in Scotland, ‘the leads always come from outside Scotland, particularly the women’.
Morven Christie shuns her true accent during auditions
She added: ‘ If it’s a Scottish drama, they’ll cast Martin Compston as the lead and an English actress as his wife. Because they can’t deal with the idea of a Scottish woman in a leading role with a Scottish accent. I never do Scottish accents because of that.’
Christie is starring in another ITV drama – Payback – alongside fellow Scot Peter Mullan.
She plays Lexie Noble, an accountant whose financial-advisor husband’s dodgy dealings put her at the mercy of Mullan’s crime lord.
When asked if he has ever noticed his accent counting against him, Mullan, 63, answered: ‘Not that I was aware of, but it most definitely must have.’
He added: ‘In the bad old days, I was told, “The problem with you Scots is, you can’t do accents”.
Christie is currently starring alongside Peter Mullan in the ITV drama, Payback
Christie first came to attention in the ITV drama Grantchester, alongside James Norton
‘Then, among the male actors in the 90s, there was a couple who came along who really changed things: Bobby Carlyle and Ewan McGregor. They made it very sexy to be Scottish. So they broke whole new territory for Scottish actors. But there was definitely active discrimination against the Scottish accent.’
Filmed in Edinburgh, Christie said she welcomed the opportunity to work at home, not just for the ease of the commute, but the opportunity to film in Scotland’s two biggest cities.
She said: ‘Edinburgh has that façade of being really well-to-do. And it’s got that royal connection. Glasgow is almost the anti-that. In terms of this story, that sets up this environment where things look lush, old money and established. It’s a powerful way to examine a criminal underworld, if you have that contrast.’