Steven Cree’s Twitter bio describes him as being, besides an Andy Murray fan, a wig and beard specialist. Today, speaking from the London home he shares with his wife casting director Kahleen Crawford and daughter, he’s sporting a bushy chin, thanks to his role as a vampire in time-travelling thriller A Discovery of Witches on Sky, but lockdown’s done its bit too.
“Yeah, this beard is never ending,” he says. “Right now it’s for A Discovery of Witches. It feels like I’ve had it for about 18 months because we finished filming season two this time last year then pretty quickly went into the pandemic and then I had to start growing it again for season three, so much to my wife’s chagrin it’s been ever present.”
Cree doesn’t have any tips for the cultivation of facial hair : “I just go completely unkempt,” he says. “I don’t brush it or oil it. I’m just lucky I guess. I can grow a beard if necessary,” he laughs.
Being hirsute may not be something he’s had to work hard at but the 40-year-old actor from Kilmarnock agrees it’s kept him in jobs.
“I’ve done so many with beards. Somebody posted a photo on my Instagram the other day from Outlaw King and I look very similar to how I look on Discovery of Witches. I had a beard in The Musketeers, a bit of a beard in Cobra. I don’t necessarily want to have a beard like this, but I hate being completely clean shaven, so I’ll always try and convince a director that the character should have a beard or a bit of stubble.”
Bearded or not, Cree has a busy CV of high-profile roles in films like Outlaw King, (playing Robert The Bruce’s brother-in-law Sir Christopher Seaton), Terminator: Dark Fate, opposite Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maleficent and Churchill, as well as TV parts in dramas from Silent Witness to Mother Father Son with Richard Gere and Helen McCrory. He’s played good guys like Joe Kallisto in Deep Water with Anna Friel, hard-nosed police chief Stuart Collier in Cobra, the political thriller starring Robert Carlyle, the Jacobite Ian Murray in Outlander and now Gallowglass, the merry mercenary vampire in A Discovery of Witches.