HAIR HITLER; HAIR HITLER Ken Stott on His Most Challenging Role Yet Playing Nazi Adolf Hitler and Getting His 'Do Just Right EXCLUSIVE People Say I Don't Look Anything like Him and My Rather Terse Answer Is That I Will

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Byline: By JOHN MILLAR

KEN STOTT is known for being meticulous in his preparation for his acting roles in such gritty and powerful television dramas as The Vice, Messiah and Takin' Over The Asylum.

But I only discovered the lengths to which the award-winning Scots star will go to get a performance right when he sought advice from my 17 year-old daughter Rose on how to straighten his naturally wavy hair.

For several minutes Ken chatted by mobile phone, discovering my teenage daughter's methods of turning her mass of curls into a poker-straight style.

The reason for this impromptu spot of hair-care guidance was that the 47 year-old actor was doing his final preparation for one of the most challenging roles of his career... Adolf Hitler.

For weeks he had been pouring over masses of books and watching video footage about the Nazi dictator, now he was thinking of the physical transformation and in particular that hairstyle with which the most infamous figure of the20th century was so closely associated. Ken says: ``I now know more about the best way to straighten my hair. I've also been thinking about having to buy a hat after I get the haircut.''

His portrayal of Hitler is in Adolf, a twohour ITV drama which examines his relationships with his niece Geli Raubal, who committed suicide in 1931 and Eva Braun, whom he married the day before she and Hitler killed themselves in the Berlin bunker in April, 1945.

HE admits that this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding roles that he has tackled.

He also recognises that it might be controversial and adds: ``People say to me `but you don't look anything like him' and my immediate and slightly terse response is no, but I will.

``But the idea of this production, which we are filming in Lithuania, is not to assimilate the character to the extent where every single thing is a copy ofthe man. What we are looking for is to expose the spirit of the man, not to create a history of the Third Reich.

``What we are looking at is a small area of Hitler's life. We are working on the last 30 days of his life and a period spanning a few months in 1929/30.''

Ken will become the second Scots star in recent times to portray Hitler on TV. Robert Carlyle played the role in the series Hitler: The Rise Of Evil.

``I'm hoping it is coincidence, '' he says about doing this TV drama so soon after Carlyle's effort. ``But it is weird doing it. It's a very difficult thing to take on, quite an undertaking.''

Ken reveals that it is a role that has caused some conflict for his agent.

He says: ``He is Jewish and he said `you must do this even though you'll forgive me if I don't actually come over to visit you in Lithuania because they killed my family'.''

The star goes on to admit that he has had some doubts about playing Hitler.

``When the books that I had ordered arrived I looked at his picture on the cover and wondered what I had done.''

Despite that he is, of course, fully committed to the production and makes a point of stressing that he will not be playing Hitler as some kind of an inhuman monster. …