Robbie Coltrane reflects on his days as an art student in new interview

We may know him as Rubeus Hagrid, but few of Robbie Coltrane’s fans realize that he got his artistic start drawing and painting as a student at Glasgow School of Art. In a new interview, a reporter from The Herald travels with Robbie back to his old stomping grounds, resulting in a delightful read for fans.

Coltrane was a student at the art college from 1968-1972, and his recollections of the era are both detailed and colorful:

“[Painting and drawing students] were the aristocrats. We used to wear blue flared jeans and clean our fingers on them. So we wandered ’round looking like a Jackson Pollock, basically, and all the girls said, ‘Are you in drawing and painting?’ ‘Maybe.’ And then you’d just flick your long hair and play another Jimi Hendrix track.”

During the interview, he also takes the time to reflect on his younger self, a young man with grand ideas about the creation of art and painting.

“I was deeply pretentious. I was not remotely interested in all this pop culture nonsense and people painting aeroplanes. I thought I could do that on the back of an envelope. Whereas I wanted to paint like the painters who really moved me, who made me want to weep about humanity. Titian. Rembrandt. But I looked at my diploma show and felt a terrible disappointment when I realised all the things that were in my head were not on the canvas. I felt there was something wrong with my hands. That was a heartbreaking day, I have to say. I still regret that because I still have visual ideas all the time, which is why I wanted to direct films.”

His memories of his time at Glasgow School of Art are fond, and he credits his years there with helping him grow into the man he is today.

“‘I guess I kind of grew up here is the truth,’ he says. ‘It opened my mind up in so many ways. When I came to the art school I was a plump 18-year-old public schoolboy. When I left I was – a citizen of the world.'”

Be sure to read the full interview for more information about Robbie’s time at art school!

Jessica J.

I've been making magic at MuggleNet since 2012, when I first joined the staff as a News intern. I've never wavered from the declaration in my childhood journal, circa October 2000: "I LOVE Harry Potter! If I clean my room, my mom says she'll make me a dinner a wizard would love!" Proud Gryffindor; don't hate.