Teenager Liam Scobie’s dream is to become a successful actor like Tom Cruise.
And the 16-year-old is already following in the footsteps of the Mission Impossible star by working as a paperboy for Sinclair Barr newsagents, in Glasgow Road, Paisley.
Tom Cruise famously had a newspaper round to earn extra cash from the age of 13, when he was growing up in Louisville, Kentucky. In interviews, he has often spoken of how it taught him the benefits and value of hard work.
Fledgling actor Liam, from Hunterhill in Paisley, has been given a career boost after he was chosen to appear in the next Outlander TV series.
The Gleniffer High pupil has been filming in the popular time-travelling romantic adventure over several months along with stars Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire Fraser, and Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser.
Liam won the part of a supporting actor in the series and plays a young soldier in Jamie Fraser’s militia. He has also been given a speaking part in several episodes.
He was chosen after producers contacted casting agency Real People, who represent Liam.
Outlander is produced by Starz – an American premium cable and satellite television network – and the show is hugely popular in the US as well as the UK.
Liam will appear in Series 5 of Outlander, which is due to be shown in February next year.
He said: “My dream is to be a successful actor. And maybe it’s a good omen that Tom Cruise was a paperboy like me when he was a teenager!”
His newsagent boss, Des Barr said: “Liam is a very conscientious young man and he’s certainly taking the same view as Tom Cruise about the need to work hard to achieve things in life.
“I’m sure if Liam puts the same effort into his acting carer as he does being a paperboy, then he’ll end up making the news along with having delivered it.”
Liam, who discovered he had a love of acting when he joined the Razzamataz Theatre School in Paisley when he was only six years old, will also be seen on our TV screens when he appears in CBBC children’s TV drama The Demon Headmaster, which is broadcast from October 14.
But he admits that his opportunity to be in Outlander is a huge boost to his career and his chances of getting into the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to study drama when he leaves school.
He says: “I’ve acted on stage many times through the years with Razzamataz and the Lourdes Theatre Group in Glasgow, but appearing on Outlander is definitely the biggest thing I’ve ever done.
“I’ve been on the set – both when it was filmed in the countryside, in Callander, in Stirlingshire and in a film studio, in Cambuslang – about 15 times this year and it was an amazing experience.
“I’ve spoken to both Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan when I’ve been on set and they were very nice to me.
“I also spent a lot of time talking with Scottish actor, Mark Cox who plays Tam in Still Game.
“Mark plays the part of a minister in Outlander and he’s been very good with me giving advice on how to have a career in acting and encouraging me never to give up even when things aren’t going so well.”
Liam started going to Razzamataz because his sister, Kim, was a member of the theatre group and his mum, Linda, thought it would be a good idea for him to become involved as well.
He explains: “When I was six years old I was a quiet and shy wee boy. My mum thought the theatre group would cure my shyness and give me confidence.
“It certainly worked and I loved performing. When I was 14 I decided that acting was what I wanted to do as a living.
“The next stage for me is passing my Highers and getting a place in drama school at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as well as building up as much experience by getting parts – no matter how small – in films and TV shows.”