Screen Star's Scots Dream; Neve Campbell Just Can't Wait to Visit the Land of Her Father

By Findlay, Jane; Hughes, Lorna | Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), February 20, 2000 | Go to article overview

Screen Star's Scots Dream; Neve Campbell Just Can't Wait to Visit the Land of Her Father


Findlay, Jane, Hughes, Lorna, Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)


HER father was born into poverty just a stone's throw from the Barras market in the gritty East End of Glasgow.

And the only escape for Gerry Campbell's parents was to take their five children to seek a better life in Canada.

Now his daughter Neve is starring in the blockbusting Scream movies, the most successful film series since James Bond.

But super-rich Neve - pronounced Nev after her mother's maiden name - has never forgotten her roots.

Now Scream 3 has been released in the States - taking a staggering pounds 23 million in the opening weekend -- Neve's thoughts are turning to a dream trip to Scotland.

She loves to wear tartan and is planning an emotional visit to contact the relatives her father left behind when he emigrated.

Fans fell in love with her when she hit the screen as haunted teenager Sidney Prescott in the smash Scream movies, which first appeared in 1996.

The stunner, who appeared with Matt Dillon in Wild Things and Mathew Perry in Three to Tango, was bitten by the acting bug at a tender age when she starred in Scots plays directed by her dad.

Now drama teacher Gerry, 50, who brought up the actress and her brother single-handed, has revealed how they plan to make her wish come true later this year.

"Neve very much feels part-Scottish though she's never set foot in the country. She was brought up in a mainly Scottish immigrant community in Canada which was based on Scots folklore and traditions.

"We almost made it over to Glasgow last year, but Neve's schedule was too hectic. We're both really hoping this summer will be the right time," he said.

Gerry grew up in a two-bedroomed tenement flat over looking the Barras.

His tram-driver father and singer mother struggled to keep a roof over their heads and optedfor a new life in Canada. His dad and uncle left a year ahead and laboured on building sites to set up a home.

Gerry said: "It was an opportunity for my dad, who was an unskilled worker, but I was devastated to be leaving Glasgow.

"We arrived in Streetsville, near Toronto, in the middle of a blizzard and none of us had the clothes to cope with the weather.

"It was a real culture shock and I there was a long period of adjustment during which Glasgow and `home' were never far from my thoughts.

"I used to dream about the Barras and imagine the atmosphere and buzz unlike any place else on earth. That was what I thought about when the kids teased me and my brother about our thick Glasgow accents.

"And I used to long for the tenement close where me and my pals would get up to all sorts of mischief."

Today, the father-of-three, who teaches secondary pupils how to act, sounds every inch the Canadian - except for the odd "wee" instead of small.

But his older brother has never lost his heavy Glaswegian brogue and admits his own accent creeps back when the family get together - which is as often as they can all possibly manage.

"My accent is basically an acting tool now. Neve can do a mean Glaswegian as well. But when I'm speaking to someone Scottish, particularly my big brother, I hear it naturally creeping back," he said.

"Probably part of that is because I've always surrounded myself and my family with other ex-pats."

Gerry met Neve's mum Marnie Campbell at acting school and discovered she was pregnant on the day they graduated. They married and Neve's big brother Christian - also an actor - was born, but the couple later divorced.

Gerry won custody of the children and got a job teaching to pay the bills, while helping to direct plays for a Scottish theatre company. …

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