Crush film star ready to help

Callum Couston with director David Goodall and co-star Victoria O'Rourke.
Callum Couston with director David Goodall and co-star Victoria O'Rourke.

A FORMER Shawlands Academy pupil, Callum Couston, is beginning to hit the big time as an actor.

His chilling portrayal of the abusive boyfriend of a schoolgirl in Crush — a powerful, emotive short film — is being used by the Reduce Abuse Project in Scottish schools.

It has recently received global acclaim at the New York International Film Festival where director and producer David Goodall picked up the award for Best Director of a Short Film.

The 24-year-old Callum who grew up in Shawlands, left school on his 17th birthday with no qualifications and started acting the very next day as a TV extra.

Ever since, Callum has enjoyed extensive work in film, TV and theatre.

He told The Extra: “Playing a character like Jack, was totally alien to me and I struggled at first but it was thanks to the amazing direction and support of our director David Goodall that we were able to turn it around”.

A DVD of Crush, together with lesson plans, are to be included in a teaching pack available to all Scottish schools from August this year.

The Reduce Abuse Project commissioned Glasgow-based Baldy Bane theatre (of which Callum is the manager) to produce the original play, A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away. Realising the impact of the film on the attitudes of young people, the Scottish government funded a film version.

Crush received rave reviews following screening at the Swansea Bay Film Festival in May, the Cannes Court Métrage, and is off to festivals in Los Angeles, Dublin and Northern Ireland.