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Scottish author pens 'intimate' Sean Connery book

14-Aug-2010 • Actor News

One is known the world over as Scotland's most famous actor. The other is lauded as the nation's greatest living writer. Now, after years of discussion, William McIlvanney has finally put pen to paper to write an intimate portrait of Sean Connery.

In an interview with Scotland on Sunday, McIlvanney revealed that he is currently working on a book of his personal reflections on Connery, and that the actor has given him his blessing.

"I showed him about seven or eight chapters early doors and he was very nice about it," said McIlvanney, revealing that Connery told him: "I'm very flattered."

McIlvanney, 72, who is best known for his gritty novels that portrayed the Glasgow of the 1970s, such as Docherty and Laidlaw, has known Connery for over 30 years.

"It's an attempt to understand the man," he said. "It's a portrait which tries not just to list the data of his life but to kind of interpret him as a person. I've known him on and off for a long time, though not deeply."

He denied that the book would glamorise James Bond star Connery, who turns 80 later this month. "I like him as a person so it's not a hatchet job," he said. "Nor is it a makeover."

The book was originally planned between the pair as an authorised biography, but McIlvanney says that he never followed up Connery's suggestion to get in touch with the actor's publisher in New York, although he continued to make notes for the book.

It will now be published independently from Connery, which McIlvanney revealed he prefers because he says he can write exactly what he thinks.

"It's just an honest attempt to understand him," he said.

Two years ago, Connery published his own autobiography, Being A Scot, which circumnavigated much of his own personal story in favour of musings on Scotland itself. At the time, McIlvanney reflected on the star's private nature in a piece for this newspaper.

McIlvanney, who was born in Kilmarnock and now lives in Glasgow and whose last novel, Weekend, was published in 2006, also reveals that he sometimes thinks he would like to be able to write without the pressure of having to publish his work.

"If I had the money, I would write over the next years all the things that I want to write and leave them," he said. "Then If somebody wanted to publish the work posthumously, they could."

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