He’s done well since, although he’s keen to point out, “I’m certainly not in the ranks of the super-rich. I do not have anything like that kind of money.” He shifts uncomfortably in his dressing-room chair as the questions move away from his rolling anecdotes and into his family and finances.A flash of Glasgow Robbie emerges when he decides it’s time to move on – “It’s probably the only thing I share with Paul Finchley,” he smiles briefly.In 1999, the couple married but four years later split.All the time his career was moving at a rapid pace – Cracker led to Bond to Potter and secured his reputation for dramatic range.Shooting begins this month at Borough Market in south London."Both my kids are very cool and unbraggy about Hagrid," he says."They just think it's what Dad does for a living."Coltrane, 52, can't get over how much London has changed since his council-flat days as a struggling young thespian, before he became famous on television in Tutti Frutti and the sublime Cracker."I used to live in Kilburn, but it's gone terribly upmarket," he sighs.There's a nervous buzz surrounding Robbie Coltrane when he makes his entrance, but the first thing the big man does is stare at my feet. " Robbie's own titanic tootsies are sheathed in a pair of Dr Marten's, with thick brothelcreeper soles that seem superfluous on a 6ft 1in man-mammoth."Nice shoes," he coos, admiring my buckled highwayman boots. He says he finds London pavements rather hard after the Trossachs, where he lives near Loch Lomond with his sculptor wife Rhona Gemmell and their children, Spencer and Alice. He knows all about hard work: he has made 26 films in 21 years and is about to embark on his 27th, when he resumes his role as the Hell's Angel-haired giant Hagrid in the third Harry Potter film, The Prisoner Of Azkaban.
It's completely disintegrated.' He is waiting for surgery that will repair his joint by glueing a piece of plastic to the bone after it has been shaved flat.
"And they've knocked down my old squat in the Finchley Road.
That really hurt; I squatted there for three years, about 20 years ago."As you might expect of someone with a lifelong involvement with Amnesty, Greenpeace, the Labour Party and CND, the artist formerly known as "Red" Robbie was always a socially responsible squatter.
Coltrane is keen to point out that, as his character repeats more than a few times, Finchley is not Jimmy Savile.
“If you wanted to write about Savile, you’d want to be asking why the hell didn’t anyone do anything about him earlier? I never met him but you’d watch him and you’d feel your skin crawl.
The show later aired on American television, and Coltrane earned a Cable ACE Award for his performance.