THE actor who plays undercover cop Scotty in RTE's hit crime drama Love/Hate has revealed how he was "a young Nidge" growing up - and even had a gun pointed to his head.
Paul Brannigan (28) has spoken about how he was involved in a life of crime when he was a youngster, but eventually got his life on the right track.
"When I was 15 I had a gun pointed at my head and told the person to pull the trigger," he said.
"It wasn't that I was especially brave, it was just that at that stage of my life I had nothing to live for. Now my life is totally different.
"Now I wouldn't even think of committing a crime because of my son Leo Paul, first and foremost, but also because of my career.
"I have too much to lose," he said, in an interview with RTE.
Paul, originally from Glasgow, also described how he had a background of poverty and deprivation and how he could relate to the plot lines in the crime drama.
"I lived in that world. I was a young Nidge at one time with the drugs, the money and the violence.
"I had a background of deprivation and poverty and in that world you had to learn the tricks of the trade in order to survive. Yeah it was f***ing crazy really," he said.
The Scottish BAFTA-award winning actor spoke about how his parents were heroin addicts and he spent his early days looking after his younger brother David.
It was after he was sent to prison for firearms offences that Paul turned his life around.
"While I was in prison I reflected on my life. I was mad with coke and valium and cannabis but I got drug-free," he said.
"I felt inadequate in so many ways that I decided I was going to teach myself every word in the dictionary. I wanted a better life, I wanted a family. After prison I worked as a volunteer with the police for three years," he said.
The actor has also started writing a biography, which will detail his life dealing with some of Glasgow's biggest gangsters.
"I have dealt with some of the biggest gangsters in Glasgow and I was selling guns at the age of 15.
"Now I teach kids not to do that," he said.