Roger Livesey, playing Torquil MacNeil, never came within five hundred miles of the Western Isles. I know that those of you who have seen the film won’t believe it, but it’s true.
I’m not sure, but I think it’s one of the cleverest things I ever did in movies. To double the leading man in all the exterior scenes of the film and intercut them with studio close ups with such a distinctive person as Roger Livesey, was a miracle. We tested twenty young men before we found one who had Roger’s height, and could copy his walk, which was very distinctive. Roger came to the studio and took endless trouble teaching him to walk and run and hardest of all, stand still. Then there was the little matter of wearing the kilt. No two men walk the same way in a kilt.
The secret of doubling an actor is not to run away from the camera or turn your back on it; on the contrary, you walk straight up to it. The camera is just as easily fooled by calm assurance as people are.
- Michael Powell, A Life In Movies