THE wife of a war hero Scottish pensioner is to be portrayed on the silver screen by one of the world’s most beautiful actresses.
Nicole Kidman is coming to Scotland to take on the role of Patti Lomax, the wife of a former Scottish soldier tortured by the Japanese during the Second World War.
Mrs Lomax, 74, admitted she was “very flattered” to be portrayed on the big screen by one of Hollywood’s most glamorous actresses.
Oscar winner Colin Firth will play Edinburgh-born Eric Lomax, who was forced to work on the notorious “Death Railway” that inspired the classic movie Bridge on the River Kwai.
Mr Lomax, 92, who went on to become a lecturer at Strathclyde University, was helped by his wife to overcome the flashbacks and nightmares he suffered after the war.
But Mrs Lomax, a former nurse, admitted she did not know who Nicole Kidman was.
Joking that she had been “quite a looker” in her time, Mrs Lomax said she was “very flattered”.
“If you were to be played by one of the world’s most beautiful women, you would too,” she said.
The film is based on Mr Lomax’s book The Railway Man. Half the filming will be done in Scotland with the rest in Australia, Thailand and Northumberland.
The writer and producer of the movie said it was possible that Kidman would want to meet Mrs Lomax to dicuss her portrayal.
Andy Paterson, who also worked on Girl With A Pearl Earring, said: “It’s a pretty remarkable story and people, including Nicole, have been very keen to be part of it.”
Firth has already twice visited the couple’s home in Berwick to discuss his role.
After his meeting with the war hero, Firth said: “He was being tortured all over again. After you go through what he and others did, you never forget. It’s with you forever. He’s an incredible man.”
Mrs Lomax was instrumental in helping her husband come to terms with his experiences.
She wrote to Nagase Takashi who was the interpreter at the torture sessions.
As a result of making contact, the pair met and struck up a friendship.
“Nagase greeted me with a formal bow,” said Mr Lomax after the meeting in 1998. “He was trembling and crying and he said, over and over again, ‘I am so sorry, so very sorry.’”
Mr Lomax said at the time that he had come with no sympathy for Takashi and yet he “through his complete humility, turned this around”.
“In the days that followed we spent a lot of time together talking and laughing and it transpired we had much in common.”
Osamu Komai, the son of the camp’s deputy commander, who was executed following a postwar trial, visited Mr Lomax at his home four years ago to apologise.
Mr Lomax was an officer in the Royal Corps of Signals and was captured following the fall of Singapore in 1942.
He was forced with thousands of others to work on the Burma-Siam railway. But after his improvised radio set was discovered by his captors, Mr Lomax was tortured close to the point of death.