MCM: Kevin McKidd


Kevin McKidd got his start in Trainspotting, not unlike another Scottish actor named Ewan McGregor. And like McGregor, McKidd has gone on to mainstream success in the U.S. with a starring role on the long running hospital soap, Grey’s Anatomy. But today we are going to take a look at his historical film and television roles!



Small Faces (1995)

Kevin McKidd has an early role in this film about street gangs in 1960s Glasgow.


Topsy-Turvy (1999)

If you want my hot take, here it is: absurd and enjoyable. Read the full-length review for more nuance.


Anna Karenina (2000)

We haven’t done a full review of this iteration of the oft-filmed Tolstoy novel, but Kevin McKidd plays Vronsky.


Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

Kevin McKidd plays John Browdie, a crude bore of a man who proves to be of more worth in the end than initially assumed.


Gunpowder, Treason, & Plot (2004)

Playing the Earl of Boswick, who is not exactly the world’s most sympathetic character, this film casts him in a much more flattering light.


Does God Play Football (2004)

I know I’ve seen this, and I can’t remember why I watched it, or whether it was any good. Kevin McKidd plays a priest caught up in some interesting emotional entanglements as he helps a young boy grapple with some heavy issues.


De-Lovely (2004)

1) Yes, I know, it’s got a watermark, because 2) I couldn’t find a freebie photo of Kevin McKidd from this flick, so 3) just deal with it.


The Rocket Post (2004)

Set in the 1930s, Kevin McKidd plays a German rocket scientist who arrives on a small Scottish island to conduct experiments and winds up falling in love with a local. Complications ensue because, duh, it’s the lead up to World War II.


Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Me and my conflicted relationship with this film could fill volumes (ask me again why we haven’t covered it, I dare you). Kevin McKidd plays an English sergeant (seriously, that’s his name in the credits) who accompanies Orlando Bloom to the Holy Land and then sort of just gets cut from the film entirely without any explanation (THANKS RIDLEY SCOTT).


The Virgin Queen (2005)

The dishy duke of Norfolk, Elizabeth’s cousin and goin’ concern in a kingdom that’s trying to grapple with a woman on the throne and no heirs in sight.


Hannibal Rising (2007)

As much as I enjoy reading about serial killers, Hannibal Lecter just never interested me. Anyway, Kevin McKidd plays Petras Kolnas, who Lecter has to murder Because Reasons.


Rome (2005-2007)

Kevin McKidd plays the absolutely delicious Lucius Vorenus, who is basically the embodiment of lawful good.


The Last Legion (2007)

Another Roman-era film, but this time Kevin McKidd plays the bad guy, Wulfila.


The Great Ghost Rescue (2011)

Kevin McKidd plays the ghost of a Scottish highlander in this kid’s flick about ghosts who are trying to escape the clutches of ghost hunters.


Tulip Fever (2017)

Tulip Fever (2016)

He’s in this, but I can’t find a photo of him online. So, please enjoy this ABSOLUTELY amazing recreation of a 1630s bodice.



Do you have a favorite historical costume film starring Kevin McKidd? Share it with us in the comments!

19 Responses

  1. Susan Pola Staples

    Rome is nice eye candy. But why haven’t you reviewed Kingdom of Heaven? I have a strong stomach. Elizabeth was OK. But I still need to see Gunpowder, etc. Favourite is Topsy Turvy. It is a gem.

    • Sarah Lorraine

      I have actually tried multiple times to cover Kingdom of Heaven for the blog, but it always ends up with an exhausting whinge of “WHY RIDLEY SCOTT DECIDE TO FUCK THIS MOVIE UP SO HARD WHEN HE CAME SO CLOSE??!?”

      The theatrical release was so hacked up that it made no sense, and when Scott released his director’s cut, it presented a much more coherent movie, but you would have to sit through 4 hours of exhausting exposition to get there. That said, every one of my medievalist friends LOVES the film, usually saying between it and A Knight’s Tale, it’s the most accurate depiction of what it was like to be a medieval knight on film. At the end of the day, the costume content is what drives this blog so it’s hard to really dig into a film that, while historical, doesn’t cover a lot of costuming ground. Eva Green’s costumes are really cool, but the jury’s out as to how historically accurate they would be for a high ranking Christian woman living in the Holy Land in the 12th century, and everything else is just sweaty dudes in armor.

      • Roxana

        I can’t imagine what your medievalist friends are talking about, authentic armor? Good depictions of battles? Because this is the most unhistorical movie ever. Basically it’s a fantasy very losely based on the fall of Jerusalem. As such it’s actually a pretty good story. At least the parts that don’t involve Orlando Bloom’s Balian. And if you can ignore the 21st c. Ecumenism.
        I am no expert but I’m pretty sure Sibylla’s costumes aren’t authentic even for native women in the 12th century levant- but they are quite beautiful.
        The real story of Sibylla of Jerusalem seems very cinematic to me. Her first husband died after siring her son and Sibylla’s hand was pursued by assorted over-mighty subjects which might be why her brother countenanced her marriage to a relative nobody like Guy de Lusignan. Sibylla was deeply in love with Guy and when she became queen tricked her nobles into accepting him as King. Guy and Sibylla unfortunately weren’t very good rulers and did indeed lose Jerusalem to Saladin. Sibylla died of fever in the Christian army camp near Acre along with her two daughters by Guy. Very sad.

  2. Alexander Sanderson

    Whoooooooh! That costume from Tulip Fever is absolutely stunning – it is just like it was lifted from a portrait. That ruff and cuffs, as well as the bodice, are absolutely gorgeous! It has such a dutch feel to it… I haven’t seen the film/series as of yet (it is now top of my list) but I suppose from the title that it is based in Holland??? Kevin McKidd has been in so many films that I remember watching, but he has very rarely stood out and I have absolutely no idea why. I don’t have any recollections of him being awful, but he also hasn’t struck me as being particularly memorable either. It is most odd. I am sure I will pay more attention to him in the future.

    • Sarah Lorraine

      I think Kevin McKidd’s historical film career was sort of stunted by his long stint on Grey’s Anatomy, and then just doing a lot of films set in the modern era in general. Otherwise, it makes no sense that he hasn’t done more historical flicks because he’s got the sort of classic, approachable good looks that make good Jane Austen leading men.

  3. Gray

    I love “Topsy Turvy”. It’s a really good recreation of the period. The absurd comes from the absurdities of Sullivan and his comic operas. The recreation of stagecraft and production practices of 1880s operetta is fantastic. The costumes on and off stage are perfection.

  4. Frances Germeshausen

    “Topsy Turvy” was a delight. I need to put that on my “cheers you up” list. We also just watched “Rome” last week. Yeah, I know, we’re way behind. He was so good.

  5. Cheryl from Maryland

    Love, Love, Love “Topsy-Turvy”. If you are a research nerd like myself, google images of the original performers to see how close Mike Leigh came to matching the actors in the film to their counterparts. McKidd plays Durward Lely, who was also Scottish.

    • Al Don

      Allan Corduner is a fantastic actor, certainly on display in that film. I wish he was in more stuff and more lead roles for that matter.

  6. Lily Lotus Rose

    Ooooooh yessss!! Kevin McKidd is one of my favorite gingers! To me, my hands-down favorite of his FrockFlick roles was as Vorenus in Rome because ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME!!! It’s in a tie as my all-time favorite TV series. Anyway, McKidd himself is yummy but I can’t quite articulate how or why–he just is!!

    I have a few credits to add to this list. There’s a fantasy-dream sequence in the 90’s film Bedrooms and Hallways in which Kevin McKidd’s character is lusting after James Purefoy’s character and they are supposed to be characters from a Jane Austen novel and James Purefoy pulls him in for a kiss. I LOVE that movie anyway, but that one scene just pushes so many of my buttons!!! You can see a screencap of it here:

    Also, he was a one-season only TV show years ago called Journeyman. It was basically a 2000s version of Quantum Leap in which his characters travels through time helping people. I don’t remember the specific time periods though, but he might’ve been in “frocks” in that one. And he as a blink and you’ll miss role in Hideous Kinky–but I can’t remember exactly what year the movie is set–60s or 70s, and I think ’69 is your cut off year, right?

    As for Kingdom of Heaven, I have NO recollection of him in that movie. Anyway, GREAT choice!!! I hope he does more FrockFlicks in the future. Also, I’m I the only one who dated the Vronsky-iteration of McKidd in college and lusted after that version later in life??

    • Sarah Lorraine

      I have a few credits to add to this list. There’s a fantasy-dream sequence in the 90’s film Bedrooms and Hallways in which Kevin McKidd’s character is lusting after James Purefoy’s character and they are supposed to be characters from a Jane Austen novel and James Purefoy pulls him in for a kiss. I LOVE that movie anyway, but that one scene just pushes so many of my buttons!!! You can see a screencap of it here:

      HELLO. Thank you for passing this along for, uh, future reference!

      • Lily Lotus Rose

        Sigh. One of you posted a meme a while back that said something like, “My sexuality is the cast of The Mummy.” Well, my sexuality are the men in that photo. Yes. Just yes.

  7. Al Don

    Always reliable as an actor – I look forward to seeing him when he crops up. And good God was Small Faces (1995) a hard movie for me to get a hold of. I made it a point to see all of the BFI’s “Top 100 British films” and that one was the hardest to locate. Good movie, though.

    And man he is so pretty in that last pic in the dress.

  8. Charity

    I own that version of Anna Karenina, but mainly watch it for Stephen Dillane’s wonderful Alexei Karenin. They actually let him be sympathetic in that version.

  9. Jose

    Gotta Say this is Amazing, Love him for one big reason thanks to him i could have a family gathering, some of my relatives are big fans of Grey’s Anatomy, so we gathered and watched Anna Karenina, the fact that Helen Mccrory was on Harry Potter didn’t hurt either