Douglas Henshall

Douglas Henshall


11/19/1965, Glasgow

Birth Name

Douglas James Henshall



Also Known As

Dougie Henshall
  • Councillor Joe Astell (Douglas Henshall)...
  • Amelia (Genevieve Barr) and Jim (Douglas...
  • Amelia (Genevieve Barr) and Jim (Douglas...
  • Amelia (Genevieve Barr) and Jim (Douglas...
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes


Douglas Henshall was born in Glasgow, Scotland on November 19th 1965. He grew up in Barrhead, South of Glasgow, the youngest of three siblings and only son. He was a pupil at Barrhead High School. Whilst at High School, a friend invited him to join The Scottish Youth…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Douglas is a fan of St. Mirren Football Club

    • Recent theatre work: Michael Bakunin -Coast of Utopia for The National Theatre (August -November 2002) John Proctor - The Crucible in a production of the play for The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield (February 4th to February 28th 2004)

      Thomas Huxley- Darwin In Malibu for The Hampstead Theatre (22nd September- 16th October 2004)

      Biff Loman-Death of a Salesman for The Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue ( 16th May 2005-November 2005)

      Del-The Cryptogram for the Donmar Warehouse, London (October 2006 - November 2006)

      Satan-The Last Days of Judas Iscariot for the Almeida Theatre, Islington, London (March 27th 2008 - May 10th 2008)

  • Quotes

    • Douglas:( on his character Professor Nick Cutter in Primeval) Professor Cutter who I play in Primeval always does the right thing and it gets a bit boring. You think 'Can you not just smack him in the mouth if he's going to do that to you.' It's nice to play someone who doesn't always do the right thing.

    • Douglas:( on religion and the Christian church) I loathe religion of all forms. I think the Church especially is resposible for more pain, more suffering that any other thing on the planet. I would have those people involved in it shot.

    • Douglas:(on his character Cromwell Marsh in Gentlememen's Relish) He's essentially got a good heart but he's also got his eye on the main chance, he's ambitious but he doesn't really know how to get anywhere. But he spots an opportunity to work with Kingdom Swan and then spots another opportunity to make money out of him. But he loves and adores Swann and he wouldn't harm him for the world. Cromwell Marsh is an opportunist with a good heart basically.

    • Douglas (what it was like being a Scottish actor when he was starting out): At that time, we were allowed to play psychopaths and alcoholics. I remember my agent suggesting that I went into meetings talking in an English accent, which I refused to do, pointedly. But then Danny Boyle made it first of all acceptable and then fashionable. With Shallow Grave, he made people realise that if it was set in Scotland, it didn't have to be about eating haggis. And with Trainspotting it very much became cool to be Scottish.

    • Douglas : (on the character Robert Dunbar in Sea of Souls) My take on Dunbar is that he's a man who can't or won't accept that his wife is dying. He has a power to stop that from happening so he's going to do anything he can to stop it and his morality just goes flying out the window. He's a decent man who makes the wrong choice or a few wrong choices. So essentially he's a villain but I don't think he's necessarily a bad man.

    • Douglas : (on why he thinks Primeval is a success) People want to get back to being properly entertained. I don't want to watch another programme about 12 people losing weight! Recently we've had an upsurge of people going, 'OK, enough reality TV'. It would be nice to remind people what was so great about Saturday nights and the best thing about Primeval is that it's good entertainment.

    • Douglas : ( on reading the stories about Sherlock Holmes) I enjoyed them so much that I read them all, the novels though possibly not all the short stories,just for pleasure. They are a great read. And obviously I love all the films, Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett were great Holmes.

    • Douglas : (on playing Arthur Conan Doyle) Arthur Conan Doyle had a lot to deal with,the childhood problems with his father who then died alone in an asylum, his wife's tuberculosis and his love for another woman. It was a lot to deal with and he was in turmoil. Nowadays he could get help, but he had to cope alone with the guilt and the grief.

    • Douglas: (on playing in large London theatres) Large theatres are just a big black space and a rustle of sweet papers, but in small ones, you get to see the audience.

    • Douglas: (on the Royal Shakespeare Company) I suppose it's like playing for Liverpool or Manchester United. You are so aware of the sense of history that has gone before you - Gielgud, Olivier. It's a wee bit like working in a sausage factory.

    • Douglas: (on the possibility of failure) I don't mind failure or success on a huge level. You don't learn by playing safe - you just get more scared about it the next time. You learn through failing.

    • Douglas: (on talking about his looks) I'm not conventional leading man material, I don't have the old square jaw and perfect teeth, so I suppose a lot of people find it difficult to cast me that way because I'm not the kind of actor that is going to be on every 16-year-old's wall. I'm kind of over myself that way. Anybody who thinks talent is the only thing that matters in this business is going to have a very, very sorry life, because it's not. But I'm doing all right.

    • Douglas (on auditioning) I could get down to the last two, but they would always go with the other guy. But I think that was something to do with me. Sometimes the worst smell in the world is desperation, and I could never disguise how much I wanted it.

    • Douglas: (on being Scottish) I do believe in my national identity. I'm very proud of what I come from and where I come from, and there are values up there that I like and that I hold on to: loyalty I suppose, and a sense of humour, and a lack of self pity.

    • Douglas: (talking about his stage work) When you've got an audience, there's a silence in there that you don't find anywhere else. And it's really powerful. People are there listening with you and you're affecting them in some way.

    • Douglas: (on the role of Levin in Anna Karenina) Levin is like the voice of Leo Tolstoy. He's probably one of the first existentialists, someone who hides guns and ropes in the shed to take away the temptation to shoot or hang himself. It's the idea of the perfect woman, Kitty, that keeps him alive.

    • Douglas: (About Nick Cutter) If I was to try and sum him up, he's reluctantly optimistic. He's a career scientist – there for the love of the job rather than anything else. He explains to Connor that he's looking for the bits that Darwin missed. Any possibility of finding something new and interesting and real is his kind of thing. He looks forward to his work. As far as his wife is concerned, I think that's just one of those big things that certain people have, and have to live with, but I think it makes him slightly open-minded to all these things.

    • Douglas: (About Nick Cutter) Well for someone who is playing an all-action hero, I have a number of phobias which aren't particularly tough or indeed heroic.
      I'm a bit claustrophobic, I've never done any deep water diving before in my life and I have vertigo.
      Not a great start really, and in the space of one series I was asked to confront and deal with each of those fears in front of the entire cast and crew!

    • Douglas: (On filming primeval) There was our cameraman sitting on a quad-bike, which was doubling as the Gorgonopsid, chasing us through the woods at 30 miles an hour, and that was the day when I thought "here I am, in the woods, pretending to run away from a 30-foot dinosaur - this is absolutely what I signed up for.

  • Simply put? Great actor to say the least...

    Douglas Henshall is very talented and original. He makes a great character out of Nick Cutter on Primeval. He has one of he most curious scottish accents i've ever heard. I love the life he brings to his characters and the facial expressions are good. The thing actors need to remember is to use their eyes. I've seen alot of actors who have this blank expression in their eyes all the time, no matter what emotion they're acting out. Body language is great, but what is it without the emotion in their eyes? And Douglas Henshall uses both nicely. He has the right idea of how to do his acting.moreless