SCOTT Reid’s name features in TV and theatre credits so often these days you wonder if there’s another actor of the same name.

One minute he’s starring in Still Game as Methadone Mick, the likeable waster, and the next the Paisley-born actor is entirely convincing  as a murder suspect in Britain’s most successful TV drama, Line of Duty.

Right now, Scott is set to appear in Glasgow in his most challenging role yet, starring in internationally successful theatre play  The  Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time.

Based on Mark Haddon’s best-seller, it’s a phenomenal role, playing 15 year-old Christopher, who is possibly autistic, but uses his extra-ordinary maths and science skills to prove he didn’t kill a neighbour’s dog.

All of this suggests success has come easily to the Conservatoire-trained actor, still 23.

But the former Paisley Grammar pupil reveals there was a real sacrifice along the way.

On leaving drama college, Scott landed some nice acting roles in Scottish theatre. But he believed  to advance his career he had to take off to London.

He couch-surfed for about five months.  “It was a great fun time, but also really demanding. Then I shared a flat with some actor friends.

“It was a real struggle for me. The auditions were coming thick and fast and I was going up for around five a week.  “But auditioning was almost like a full time job.  I couldn’t take any bar work or anything. And these were big auditions.”

Scott had to rely on the Bank of Mum and Dad to help him survive.

“I said to my parents ‘Just back me for six months. Take a punt on me. And if it doesn’t work out I will come back to Scotland’.”

Scott’s parents, both foster carers, are certainly not wealthy.

“It was a difficult financial time,” he admits with a wry smile.

 “You are at the point where your Oyster Card is running out and you don’t have your bus fare home.

“We lived in Tottenham next to a great halal butcher and 20 quid used to get us five kilos of chicken, and 30 eggs  for two pounds so we literally lived on scrambled eggs and chicken breast.”

He adds, laughing; “It was a bit of a smelly living room to sit in at night.”

But then the wind of change came  along. The constant auditioning, the months of knockbacks finally paid off.

“I made a lot of mistakes when I started out but I worked hard at pre-meets, made a lot of tapes to be sent out. Did everything I could.

“Then the first big job I got was an advert for Hewlett Packard in America and it enabled me to pay back my mum and dad.  “My rent was paid for the next eight months. And I was able to go into auditions with the panic removed from my voice. I had so much more confidence.”

Confidence plus talent saw Scott land Line of Duty. But he didn’t play a Scot.

 “The work for Scottish actors isn’t there in the way it was 20 years ago. You have to be able to do accents. And I thought it was terrific there were three Scots in Line of Duty, me, Paul Higgins and Martin Compston, but none of us used a Scottish accent.”

The actor adds: “It was really interesting seeing how others switch their accents. Martin used his London accent the whole time on set to stay in character.

“I don’t. I switch it on and off. When a director shouts ‘Cut’ or the curtain comes down in theatre I’m no longer that character. I think you need to separate yourself from that person.”

That’s good, you suggest, because you don’t like to think of him wandering the streets of Glasgow at night wearing Methadone Mick teeth and sounding exactly like him.

“Well, maybe on a night out he does appear,” says Scott, laughing.

The actor laughs a lot, but takes his work very seriously. And he draws from every life experience he can to form his characters.

His Line of Duty murder suspect Michael Farmer was developed from something his mum had said about fostering young people.

“My mum learned at her training course that if children don’t experience love by the age of three, that natural inkling to love their parents isn’t there.

“If you don’t have that connection, something isn’t quite right. And that’s how I saw Michael Farmer, as someone who had never been made to feel special.”

He adds; “I’ve certainly met guys like that at school who were a little bit off the track.”

Scott has also worked hard to get into the head of Christopher  in The Curious Incident.

“He’s a 15- year-old boy from Swindon, who’s described as having learning difficulties, although it’s not absolutely defined as autism or Aspergers.  “He’s a boy with rules, doesn’t like physical contact or certain colours.

“But he’s really intelligent and logical, he loves science and space.

“Playing him demands a huge concentration. But the pay-off is extra-ordinary.”

Scott loves acting. “It’s like a drug. You get such an adrenaline rush when you are in the moment. To be the best actor I can be you have to take the roles that stretch you.”

But success won’t go to his head.  “Not when you have a family like mine,” he says, grinning.   “Success doesn’t wash with them at all My mum still says to me ‘Get in the back seat of the car, Scott.’”