Kicked out of the Grange School as a teenager and a father at 18, life did not look too promising for Brendan Carr.
But the determined 33 year old has managed to forge himself a career in acting – and now its a family affair with his children making their movie debuts in his latest film.
Carr’s most notable credit yet was in 2007 cult hit, Rise of the Footsoldier, when he played Jason in the cinematic release.
And while most of his films are not exactly blockbuster hits, Carr is slowly but surely earning himself a reputation as a stellar action man in the world of B-movies – not that he is fond of that term.
“I hate using the term B movie. Yes some of my films are B movies but I would rather say it’s just a film shot on a lower budget.
“It’s not a regular nine to five job, you’ve got to fight for your place in the hierarchy.
“I’m off the bottom rung of ladder and slowly making my way up. It’s a dog eat dog industry.
“Everyone in the industry pretends to be somebody they’re not. I’m genuinely trying to make a living from being an actor and a producer.”
The actor admits it is difficult not knowing where his next paycheck may come from but feels he is now making progress and said his straight-to-DVD films still attract an audience.
He added: “It might not have the classy locations but you can still enjoy watching it. Some people will say ‘Yes I enjoy watching it more than a Hollywood film’.
“The market is not the same anymore either. It’s all DVD and downloads.
“I know one director only interested in investing in something that goes straight to DVD because it gets a quicker return.”
In 2004, Carr got his first big break in a full feature movie called The Purifiers where he played the bad guy Moz alongside Dominic Monaghan from TV series Lost and Lord of the Rings.
Since then the 33 year old has starred in and produced an array of action films but he recently picked up another highlight when his children, Aaliyah Brown-Carr, 15, and Jaydan Carr, six, acted alongside him in his latest flick, The Flower of Sarnia.
It has proved full circle in some ways as Aaliyah also attends his old school, the Grange.
She plays a gladiatrix in the film while Jaydan, who goes to Thomas Hickman School, appears as the young male lead Tallerin who the film is based around and Carr is the freedom fighter Brooke.
He added: “For me it’s one of the most amazing things ever. I would love to do something like Will and Jayden Smith have done.
“I have got to do it although on a slightly smaller scale. To be on set with your children is just an amazing feeling.
“Aaliyah has been saying for ages she wants to get into my films but you can only recommend something for them when it comes up.”
For Carr the importance of family and work cannot be overstated particularly after his life was put in jeopardy when he was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy in July last year which left the right hand side of his face paralysed.
Fellow actors George Clooney and Pierce Brosnan have both suffered from the condition and while being used to sustaining injuries in acting out his own stunts - including broken fingers and being punched directly in the face - the doctors at that point thought Carr had suffered a brain haemorrhage.
It left the actor questioning whether he may ever get in front of the camera again. But eight months later he was back in action in the film He Who Dares.
Carr added: “I don’t think anything is impossible. If it’s something you can think about then you can do it.”
And despite being kicked out by the Grange, the actor is proud to point out the school now credits him as one of their alumni on its Wikipedia page.