Scottish actor Peter Mullan agreed to play a cross-Channel swimmer in hit new movie ON A CLEAR DAY because he could identify with his character's panic attacks.

The YOUNG ADAM star plays middle-aged FRANK in the film, who attempts to swim from England to France to escape the daily problems of family life.

And Mullan admits he signed on for the film, in which Brenda Blethyn plays his wife, because he recognised the character.

Mullan says, "This is a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown, who suffers panic attacks and I'd suffered them for a long time in my own life.

"It was nice to have the opportunity to look at that area of masculinity when everything is so internalised and you're not allowed to expose what, in gender definition, women are allowed to talk about.

"Men, particularly working class Scotsmen, are most certainly not allowed to talk about (nervous breakdowns and panic attacks) and of course that compounds the very problem. The fact that he went to that extremis made total sense to me."

31/01/2005 09:38