Kate Dickie lands a Marvel villain role in the Disney+ Loki series
Kate Dickie has joined the cast of Disney+ TV show Loki, which follows the adventures of the titular character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She will play a villain for the second series, starring alongside Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson and Sophia Di Martino.
Depending on the nature of the role, Dickie could graduate to Marvel’s Phase Five list of film releases, adding to her recent film credits which include The Northman and Shepherd.
She was a relative latecomer to film acting – her breakthrough role in the 2006 psychological thriller Red Road, set in Balornock, came when she was 35 with stage work and TV credits to her name. It remains one of the most important depictions of Glasgow committed to being shown.
The city so often replaces other locations in films that opportunities to tell local stories are appreciated. “I didn’t realize at the time how unusual it was to play a leading role as a woman who wasn’t there to support the man’s story or to be sexy or dress a certain way,” she says.
“We did it in 19 days, it was full and I just went for it. It was a real privilege to tell Jackie’s story and be her voice. It was a joy of a job.”
Kate’s father was a dairy farmer and then a professional gardener, meaning she grew up across a range of Scottish estates: “I ran wild, a real tomboy, I was always putting on shows at home for mum and dad. I was ten when I knew that I wanted to be an actor. My father was creative and a storyteller. My parents didn’t let us think that we couldn’t do certain things because we came from a working-class family. I was always encouraged to do what I wanted to do.”
She moved to Glasgow in 1990, winning a place at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. “In the nineties there were fantastic theater companies such as 7:84, Andy Arnold did exciting shows at The Arches, Robert Carlyle and Alexander Morton had set up the Raindog theater company,” she explains.
“It was a way to connect because you need that safety in numbers when you’re doing a job that’s scary and competitive and there’s a lot of rejection. There’s a certain type of person who wants to pretend they’re other people all the time . We are not sure of ourselves.”
Her start on TV included the Scottish trilogy with roles in Rab C Nesbitt, Still Game and Taggart: “I actually did Taggart twice, I want it all” she laughs. “It was really important to have the Scottish roles you can relate to, to see people who talk like you on screen. I saw the big American blockbusters growing up, but you don’t see yourself in those films.”
Red Road changed things, Kate began a career as a character actor in independent cinema before Hollywood came along. She was cast in Prometheus by Ridley Scott. It was so overwhelming, she says. “I started to convince myself that they wanted Kate Winslet and had hired me by mistake. I was very quiet for the first few weeks and hoped no one would notice me.
“Michael Fassbender is the kindest soul, he took me under his wing and made me part of the group. I ended up having a great time, Ridley is one of the smartest directors I’ve worked with. He draws the storyboards from how he will a scene to be shot is like a work of art.”
Notable work followed: Lysa Arryn in Game of Thrones, film roles in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Witch and The Green Knight, more TV in Peaky Blinders, The Cry and Shetland. All achieved while living in Kelvinbridge with her partner Kenny and daughter Molly.
“I didn’t intend to move to London, our lives were established here,” she says. “As actors, we shouldn’t be looked down upon because we choose to live in Scotland. I love working elsewhere, but this is a great city to live in. You don’t have to give everything up for your art.”
Kate Dickie was interviewed for Conversations on The Chip, ubiquitouschip.co.uk. This feature was first published in Best of Scotland magazine.