Cumming Went to X-Rated Films With Granny

BY Advocate.com Editors

August 13 2010 3:55 PM ET

Actor Alan Cumming recalls his grandmother taking him to an X-rated double feature in the late 1970s, according to England's newspaper The Guardian. The paper asked notables of British cinema to recall the first time they saw an X-rated film and notes that a film with the X rating wasn't necessarily pornographic. Between 1970 and 1982 non-adults were barred from seeing films with violent or explicit sexual imagery by the British Board of Film Censors.

Read Cumming's recollection below.

"When I was about 12 my granny took me to the pictures in Inverness to see a double bill of David Essex films – That'll Be the Day and Stardust, both of which were X-rated. She somehow persuaded the man at the box office to let us in. I think she just wanted to see the film and I was with her — she was a bit nuts but she was great really, she just went with the flow.

"I remember being incredibly excited. There was a scene on his wedding night when David Essex shags a bridesmaid in the back of an Escort van. David Essex was very pretty but I think what I liked was the noisy messiness of the sex act. It was lusty and passionate and all, 'Excuse me, could you just move that spanner?' It wasn't all glossy, like everything I'd seen before; it was very British and ordinary, people roughing it, the way I kind of thought it probably would be in real life. It was quite sexy for a 12-year-old boy.

"Also, it obviously stayed with me because there's a line Essex said in the film that I still say, kind of as a joke, when directors are chancing it with you and want you to get up really early and work too hard when you're really tired. Like David, I always say: 'I'm an artist, not a machine.'"







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