TALENTED actor Sean Connor has come a long way since his mum enrolled him in a Barrhead drama class at the tender age of six.

Less than two decades later, he has a high-profile role in one of Scotland’s most popular television shows and recently starred in his first feature film.

Sean is best known to TV viewers as Dylan Christie in BBC Scotland drama series River City.

But he has now impressed a whole new audience by playing one of the main characters in Schemers, which hit cinemas at a time when the release of many blockbusters was put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic.

Schemers tells the true story of three friends in Dundee who managed to convince heavy metal legends Iron Maiden to perform at the city’s Caird Hall in 1980.

Sean, 23, admits seeing himself on the big screen was “totally surreal,” as it had been a dream of his from an early age.

Barrhead News: Sean Connor is best known to television viewers as ‘cheeky chappie’ Dylan Christie in BBC Scotland show River CitySean Connor is best known to television viewers as ‘cheeky chappie’ Dylan Christie in BBC Scotland show River City

He told the Barrhead News: “I think my dad wanted me to be a footballer but I was never very good at it.

“My mum put me into this acting class in Barrhead when I was only about six or seven though and, from there, I realised it was one of the only things in the world I was good at, so I stuck with it and developed a passion for it as I gained more experience.

“I joined an agency a few years in and managed to do some adverts and all the stuff that naturally comes when you’re that age. It got me into the swing of things and I fell in love with it from there.”

Sean said gaining some early experience was key in finding out how to work in the industry.

He trained at the Glasgow Acting Academy and, after completing his time at Cross Arthurlie Primary, studied drama at Barrhead High until his fourth year.

“Barrhead High wasn’t actually offering Higher Drama when I picked my subjects, so I had to get a taxi to St Luke’s High to do my classes there,” Sean recalled.

“Miss Gracie, at St Luke’s, was an excellent teacher. She pushed me as hard as she could because I think she saw that I was very passionate about it and she told me at the beginning of the year that no-one from the school had achieved full marks in the practical Higher Drama exam.

“I then did just that, which I was very proud of.”

After his success at school, Sean moved on to do a HND (Higher National Diploma) and then a BA (Bachelor of Arts) degree in Acting at New College Lanarkshire, which he chose as a result of its focus on practical work and willingness to allow him to take on paid roles during class time.

He said: “I shot Schemers while I was in college. I missed a good chunk of my third year to do it but they were totally accommodating because the best way to learn is to do.”

Throughout his time training to be an actor, Sean performed in “serious” plays such as Lord of the Flies, so when he started to get offered comedic roles, he was surprised but grateful.

In River City, his character Dylan is a medical school dropout described as a “cheeky chappie” who brings some levity in between the show’s more intense storylines.

By next March, Sean will have been working on the show for two years but, like the rest of the cast, he had some unscheduled time off for a few months when production was halted due to coronavirus lockdown measures.

He said: “I was in the day that we got shut down and it was so surreal. They just told us to pack up and go home. Then we were home for months before getting the chance to go back.

“Lockdown was a challenge for everyone but it was great to eventually get back to doing something that I love. I’ve never really viewed acting as work and, for that, I’m very grateful.”

Raised by construction site gaffer dad Noel and care worker mum Maureen, Sean was able to fuel his passion for drama in a unique way.

He explained: “One of my biggest inspirations in acting is getting slagged off by my pals for doing it.

“I would get a bit of stick off them for doing the adverts but it was all in good humour.

“As much as I think people don’t like to say it, you learn a lot from your teachers – even the ones you don’t get along with. I was a bit of a class clown but I’ve definitely realised now that they were all just trying to help.

“I’ve been able to take inspiration from everyone I worked with in school.

“There were teachers I naturally didn’t get on with and some said I wouldn’t amount to anything but I just took that as ammo to move myself on and do better.

“Acting was the only thing I ever knew I was good at, so criticism didn’t really affect me.”
Sean played the role of Scot in Schemers – described as “a madcap caper with something to say.”

It tells how dreamer Davie McLean, played by Edinburgh actor Conor Berry, is determined not to get a job working in a factory and instead turns to the world of music promotion.

As Davie, Scot and their friend John lurch from one disaster to the next, they find themselves deep in debt to a violent gangster – and hatch a plan to sweet-talk Iron Maiden into playing the Caird Hall.

Sean hopes Schemers has helped to spread some joy to moviegoers at a time when the entire nation could do with the benefits a feelgood film can bring.

He said: “Maybe the timing of the release is a good thing, as that’s what people need.”