Euan was born in a central Scottish town named Falkirk. He lived in the industrial town of Grangemouth for the first six years of his life and then moved to Bo'ness where he stayed until the age of 17. His parents Graeme and Margaret both work there : his father is an electrician with the local council and his mother works at the post office.
Euan knew from a very early age that he wanted to become an actor, ever since he was seven years old and threw paper balls at a snowman in his primary school Christmas show. As a youngster he later became a member of Falkirk Children’s Theatre. He's always had support, from his parents, from school, and also from the local authority that gave him a grant.
Euan was very studious at school and particularly enjoyed English and Drama. It was at the Bo'ness Academy, the local secondary school that he met Mhairi Gilchrist, a drama teacher who made a major contribution to his development. "She was the best teacher I've ever come across !" he told us. At the Bo'ness Academy Euan took part in various school performances and even starred in West Side Story there amongst other things. (Bo'ness Academy headteacher letter to The Herald, Jan 31 2002)
"The course was weird at first, and we’d thrash around on the floor pretending to be amoebas. But you’re encouraged to relive all your life’s experiences and the darker side of your life, so I got to know people very well very quickly. "And I suppose I was living in a little bubble-world and wasn’t aware that living in London on my own was quite a big thing for a wee Bo’ness boy to do." (Evening News, Jan 17 2002)
"I heard that 2000 people were up for the part and I never thought I would get it. But after only two auditions, I was told it was mine. I was so excited." (Daily Record, Jan 18 2002)
Although Euan was never a Boy George fan as a kid (he preferred The Carpenters), he was always aware of the resemblance between himself and the icon. "When I was a kid someone in school told me I looked like him once," he recalled. "It was meant to be an insult at the time, but ha, ha! It got me a job!" (Broadway.com, October 8th 2003)
"When it came to meeting Boy George himself for the first time, I was very, very nervous because of how famous he is. Plus, my mum really likes him. "I was about five years old when Culture Club made it big so I don't remember the music from first time round. "But I remember my mum quite fancied him and played his records all the time. (Daily Record, Jan 18 2002)
”That's really naive, but I was ignorant to his Dj-ing career and to what kind of Dj-ing it was. I was ignorant to his solo career and so this has been a bit of an eye opener.” (From Bo’ness to Boy George, Jan 2002)
"Just being in the same room as him was weird. But he has been brilliant. He's so normal and really wants the musical to succeed. He's nervous too." (Daily Record, Jan 18 2002)
"I had to walk round my house in high heels for a while, getting used to the feeling. Then I had lessons to get rid of my Scottish accent. But by far the hardest thing has been to get used to wearing the thick heavy make-up. "It takes an hour and 45 minutes to put the face on. Then there's the heels and outfits to put on. It's a good way to change into Boy George and really become the part.” (Daily Record, Jan 18 2002)
What does Euan think of the world depicted in Taboo ?
"It's a life I'm very glad I've never been part of. All that going out to clubs and discos in ridiculous clothes just to be noticed? I'd rather be a nobody." He also says clubbing makes him claustrophobic. He'd rather spend time at home with friends watching movies or reading (Scottish writers, plus Roddy Doyle and Carson McCullers). There's no doubt fame is important to him, but with rare clarity he sees the wilder excesses of those eighties exhibitionists as one escapism too far. "If you're being yourself, I don't think it's necessary to paint something on." (The Herald, Jan 29 2002)
He is also pessimistic about New Romanticism's legacy to a generation for whom "there's nothing left to do"; where anybody can now be famous simply "by living in a house for 10 weeks" and where concentration comes in half-hour spans "to fit EastEnders in". (The Herald, Jan 29 2002)
“People in my hometown have read lots of stuff about it [Taboo]. Everyone’s kind of patted me on the back and said "well done" and it feels a bit preemptive. Before this, noone even gave a damn who I was, so this is all a new experience.” (From Bo’ness to Boy George, Jan 2002)
'It's great so long as you remember that you're a nobody, despite the fact that everybody else might say nice things about you. It's really about where you place yourself. The higher you put yourself, the further you have to fall.' (Theatregoer, July 2002)
As if to remind himself of the delusions of adulation, he quotes J D Salinger's Catcher in the Rye: "You can't blame a performer for not knowing whether he's playing well because of the idiots who clap for him; because if people clap you enough, you do stop knowing if you're good any more." (The Herald, Jan 29 2002)
"I think it would be hideous to be as famous as Boy George. At the height of Culture Club's success, he was mobbed everywhere. "I couldn't be bothered with that.” (Daily Record, Jan 18 2002)
The Herald: this article can be bought online from the Herald's website.
From Bo'ness To Boy George, BBC Scotland, January 2002
Tenth Planet Productions
And a huge thank you to Euan for sending us biographical information ! :)