He almost never seems to leave our screens, so it’s no wonder Martin Compston is enjoying a break while he plays the role he loves most… dad.
The Line of Duty star – back on TV tomorrow in a blackmail drama – is chilling at home in Las Vegas, enjoying the relative anonymity of life in the US.
He told the Sunday Mirror: “I’m at the age now where I’m happy to take it down a few notches.
“Most would describe me as a sociable guy, and I still will be, but after the madness of the last year of back-to-back filming, it’s time to calm things down.”
Proud Scotsman Martin lives in the United States with the wife of American actress Tianna Chanel Flynn, 33, and their young son.
With a heartwarming pic of his wedding day in the background, he says on our Zoom chat: “I was doing the ‘Daddy Day Care’ stuff while my wife was away working.
BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill)
“My wife also has her own career, so she’s gone, but it’s just compensation.
“And I’m really lucky to have so much family and support. I know how happy I am with that.”
But the bright lights of the Vegas Strip beckon from time to time. Last October he was photographed with fellow Celtic fan Rod Stewart after the singer’s performance at Caesars Palace.
“I have a friend who knows Rod, but I have a very quiet life,” Martin said. “The Strip is close by and I have a crazy night out every few weeks or months, but here my life is quiet compared to back home.”
He says he’s very proud to have become a father three years ago, but draws a line when he reveals too many details.
“I’m going to work now for a break,” he jokes. “I’ll never complain about the early morning again.”
For Martin, 37, Vegas is the antidote to life in front of the camera – although he also has a place at home in Greenock, Renfrewshire.
He says: “It sounds like bullshit to say that because if you ask my wife Greenock will always be my home while Vegas was a conscious choice so my wife could be close to family. But it’s only in the last few months that I’ve realized how much I need this place.
“It’s just because you can come here and if someone notices you, that’s a novelty. I can go to the park with my little one and not be followed.
“Don’t get me wrong, there are some great things that come with being on TV, some amazing things, and sometimes I make the best of it, but I found that having anonymity was great.”
He then jokes, “I’ll probably start getting withdrawals soon from people asking me for selfies!”
Martin became one of Britain’s most popular and well-known stars as DS Steve Arnott on the corrupt cops show Line of Duty.
Of course he’s the good guy.
A string of prime-time dramas followed, including submarine thriller Vigil, The Rig, and more recently, Alibi Channel forensics drama Traces.
But his most recent role as a wayward husband in Our House was one of his most emotionally challenging. He plays Bram Lawson, who splits from his wife Fi (played by Downton Abbey’s Tuppence Middleton) after cheating on a neighbor.
The first episode ends on a cliffhanger as Fi returns home to find a couple has moved in – claiming Bram sold them the house.
Martin says, “Our house has by far brought out the best in me as an actor.
“It was unique to see a drama that revolves around family and marriage and was exciting under those conditions. There were some real cliffhangers.
“I came straight from filming The Rig. I read the scripts and loved them – you can tell this guy’s life is falling apart. It was a tough role. He’s a guy with a self-destruct button, but he also has some redeeming qualities.
“Basically he’s a good guy, loves his kids. But I don’t think he’ll appreciate what he’s got until it’s too late. He comes across as someone who wants to bring a bit of chaos into his life when things are going too well.
“It’s been such an emotional ride seeing what Bram is going through. That’s what made it so intense.
“When we were done I said I needed a little break, so we graduated in October and just went away and were family for a while. I have no illusions about how happy I am that I made it, but it was just what I needed.”
It’s been 20 years since he broke into the role of troubled teenager Liam in Ken Loach’s Sweet Sixteen – and he’ll be forever grateful for the role.
He says: “I feel massively nostalgic. I owe these guys absolutely everything for giving me a chance and giving me this opportunity.
“It was a weight around my neck at the time. Everyone thought I was that kid. Making Monarch of the Glen was a very conscious decision because it was so different from Sweet Sixteen.
“Now I’ve gotten older where things are going well, like Line of Duty, I’m just really proud. If you see the kind of numbers [viewing figures] Being involved in such things cannot make you proud. I’m so thankful for that. I’ve had the good fortune to dip my toe into the independent world of cinema and television over the past 20 years, and there’s satisfaction in making stuff that resonates with large audiences.
“Especially in these times, it’s great to give people a little escapism to take their mind off a seemingly never-ending miserable news cycle.”
He is currently working on a top secret project that he is producing.
He will not be drawn to the subject.
But then they say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…
- Martin’s new drama Our House airs tomorrow at 9pm on ITV
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/line-duty-star-martin-compstons-26395075 Line of Duty star Martin Compston's idyllic family life in Las Vegas after the year of 'madness'.