Thursday, August 26, 1999 Published at 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Gregory goes back to school
Gregory is back as a teacher, but he is still having girl problems
By BBC Scotland Arts Correspondent Pauline McLean
"If I don't see you through the week, I'll see you through the window."
It's not exactly award winning stand-up but it was probably the most quoted line across the west of Scotland circa 1982.
Gangly Gregory was our icon, Cumbernauld somewhat unfeasibily became a mecca. The year was 1982. Gregory's Girl was the first real cult Scottish film. I have friends to this day who can still quote the script line by line.
"We were aware of the dangers of even contemplating recreating Gregory," he says.
"We didn't approach it as a sequel - not after all this years - but as another film with the same character. So we virtually started over again with a clean slate.
"We decided to eavesdrop on Gregory's life and to ask: where is he now? What is he up to? The original character was adolescent and awkward, almost in a pantomime way and we might have made the mistake of going overboard in trying to ingratiate the new character with the audience.
Sinclair said he was delighted to return to the role he first played as a gangly teenager. In Gregory's Two Girls, he plays a 35-year-old Gregory, now a teacher in his old school.
"I don't think I'm quite as gangly now," he says. "I've had to take gangling lessons for this film."
Minefield of crush on pupil
This time, instead of being torn between the football mad Dorothy and her quieter, wackier mate, he's divided between another teacher and one of his pupils. - a 16-year-old school pupil and a potential minefield for Forsyth.
He admits it's a far cry from the original but believes it's handled with delicacy. And Gregory's innocent approach helps.
"Because John is quite unique as an actor, he can walk the fine tightrope of the teacher having a crush on a pupil and at no stage do we condemn him because we can see how hard he's working to deal with his feelings for Frances. How he suffers as much as he gains pleasure from it."
"We went back to the park and looked for a tree to shoot the scene under," he says.
"It turned out to be the same tree from the first film - although we didn't intend it to be."
Gregory's Two Girls is the latest Scottish film to have an injection of Scottish Arts Council lottery money. Ironic, considering Forsyth's much publicised views on public financing of film.
"I still think lottery funding of film is a dubious business and I do have my doubts about how its' used," he says.
"But I think the way it is being handed out now has changed and it's beginning to be a better system. I also think ours will be one of the first films to actually give money back to the lottery fund so that's changed my mind a little."
So if it's a success, will it mark yet another return of Gregory, with or without his girls? "Oh no," groans John Gordon Sinclair.
"Twenty years later and Gregory is middle-aged and still gangling. I don't think I can face that ... mind you, I said that 18 years ago too ... and look what happened."
"Hmm," adds Bill Forsyth.
"Gregory's Daughter. It's got a ring to it..."