Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane, who just won a CableACE award for the mystery-movie series Cracker, thinks he knows why his character, a hedonistic criminal psychologist, is so popular. ''People find the fact that he's given in to all these temptations quite attractive,'' says Coltrane, on the phone from London. ''They're fed up with people who are ridiculously handsome and work out all the time and live on berries and fruits and never swear.''
There's one other reason. ''The fact that he's very intelligent is important,'' Coltrane says. ''Women find a man who's witty far more attractive than a man who's got good pecs.'' Maybe so: Cracker has brought the hefty Coltrane a Dennis Franz-like following in England. ''I'm a sex god,'' he jokes. ''It's a burden.''
Crossing to the other side of the law, Coltrane plays a Russian mobster in the upcoming James Bond flick Goldeneye. ''(Pierce) Brosnan's an excellent choice,'' he says of the new 007. ''The best Bond, of course, was a Scotsman (Sean Connery). Now they've got an Irishman. Englishmen aren't very good at playing smooth Englishmen anymore.''
The actor, who lives in Scotland with his wife, sculptor Rhona Gemmell, 26, and their 2-year-old, Spencer, is best known in this country for a pair of Catholic farces, Nuns on the Run and The Pope Must Diet. (It was Coltrane who came up with the latter's title after the MPAA rejected its original, The Pope Must Die.) But unlike Whoopi Goldberg, Coltrane hasn't made his sister act a habit. ''You can hardly hear with those things sticking over your ears,'' he says of his Nuns wear. ''It's a wonder nuns don't bump into things.''
That's not the only habit Coltrane has kicked recently. ''I haven't lit a cigarette for a week,'' the longtime nicotine addict confesses, ''and I feel f---ing great!'' Guess he hasn't sworn off all his vices.