Martin Compston at the 20th anniversary screening of the first film Sweet Sixteen

Line Of Duty star Martin Compston said he owes his career to Sweet Sixteen and the mentor who brought him in to audition, as the Scottish film’s stars attended the 20th anniversary celebration in Glasgow .

The sold-out screening was the first time the Greenock-born actor had seen the Ken Loach TV series in over 15 years.

Compston, who now spends part of the year in Las Vegas with his wife and young son, thanked fans for coming to see the special screening during the Glasgow Film Festival.

“Life is a bit hectic right now, so I don’t really think I’ve considered what this would mean for me today when I come back here 20 years later,” he said.

“The fact that all these people are here to see it again really means a lot.”

“I owe it to Paul (La Poor, writer of Sweet Sixteen), Rebecca (O’Brien, producer), and Ken (Loach), I owe them my entire career.

“They took my chance 20 years ago and I’m still making a living right now.”


Paul La Poor, Annemarie Fulton, Martin Compston and Rebecca O’Brien arrive for the 20th anniversary screening of Sweet Sixteen (Eoin Carey/PA)

Sweet Sixteen tells the story of Liam, a troubled teenager who wants to start anew after his mother’s release from prison.

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But he quickly gets swept up in gang life in an attempt to make ends meet, with the film set in Greenock, Port Glasgow, and the coast in Gourock.

Now 37 and currently starring on STV’s Our House, Compston was thanked by St Columba’s high school teacher, Mr Harkins, for encouraging him to audition when he was just 17 years old.

“I watched (Ken Loach’s film) My Name Is Joe and it got me thinking because I never knew speakers like me could make it to the big screen, so it changed the idea. what cinema could be,” he said.

“It just so happened that they were having an open audition at my school next year and it was my teacher who said, ‘Look, they’re talking about this kid they’re looking for and I think that’s you. .

“I mean, looking back, it probably meant a little gobshite who had too much to say for himself.”

The reason I think I’m so good is because I’m so raw, but looking back I can see how I was living my life ‘why did you do that?’Martin Compston

Sweet Sixteen premiered at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and won Best Screenplay, but even with praise from critics, Compston said he hadn’t seen the film in at least 15 years.

“I don’t like to watch myself again, I can watch it once, and maybe my voice back then was like fingers on a chalkboard to me,” he said.

“The reason I think I’m so good is because I’m so raw, but looking back, I can see how I was going ‘why did you do that?’.

“It was Catch-22, the fact that I didn’t know what I was doing made it so good but looking back now, I would say ‘I wish I had never done it’.”

At the anniversary screening, Compston and co-star Annemarie Fulton were joined by La Poor director and producer O’Brien, with Loach participating in a video link to speak to the four on the red carpet to make meeting is complete.

La Poor said the film has an “abundant source of talent” and that the 20 years that have passed “all have passed in the blink of an eye”.

“It’s funny how a movie has a life of its own, and I never take it for granted, it’s quite unique,” ​​he said, adding that people born after the film was made still mention it and the characters.

“What’s remarkable is the way it finds its way, and it has to be mining something,” he said. Martin Compston at the 20th anniversary screening of the first film Sweet Sixteen

Fry Electronics Team

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