The Scottish actor left the U.K. capital in 2008 to live in Los Angeles with his wife Eve and their three daughters, and insists the decision was prompted by the country’s growing infringement of civil liberties.
He says, “I had a sense of freedom being lost, liberty disappearing. Cameras everywhere, you can’t park anywhere and you’re not allowed to hang around in a group. I parked in an empty motorcycle bay in Soho and when I came back I had a ticket, and I thought, ‘F**k this, I’ve got to pay to park a motorbike? Enough.’ So I left… (I) felt lighter every time I was there (in America).”
And the star is glad his children can enjoy a safe suburban upbringing similar to his own childhood in Scotland: “When I was five, (my friend) Carol McLaren would walk me to school – and she was six. That kind of independence was totally the norm. Later, I’d just go off on my bike and come back at night and it was fine.”