We will have to wait for the TV drama to see whether Coltrane's character is found guilty, but it's clear the subject matter has affected him profoundly. There's total respect for people who actually were attacked.
His tears on screen, he said in an interview, were real: 'I didn't have to act at all. I mean, if you're not moved by that, you might as well hand in your human-being cards.'Given the sensitivities involved in a TV drama about sex abuse, he knows there may be a backlash. His then girlfriend, artist Robin Paine, complained that he was horribly unfaithful.
Aside from some voice-over work on film animations, he has barely worked since finishing filming Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows — Part 2 in 2010.
It's been a desperately tough period: his marriage to sculptor Rhona Gemmell has ended and he has been in daily agony with osteoarthritis.
He credits much of his acting career (including roles in such TV series as ) to the game that gave him so much as he was growing up.