When he was growing up in Glasgow, Scotland, Douglas Henshall never considered becoming an actor. Although he had worked with a youth theater (initially to impress one of the local girls), he intended to pursue a career as an artist or journalist, but when he was unable to obtain a place in his schools of choice, the 18-year-old headed to London to study at the Mountview Theatre School. Upon graduation, the strawberry blond, good-looking Henshall struggled for six months before returning to Glasgow where he launched a concentrated campaign to be hired by BBC Scotland; his persistence yielded only bit roles, however. The stage provided a conduit to success. Henshall worked with local groups, including 7:84 and the Citizens' Theatre. In 1990, he was cast opposite Peter Mullan in the two-hander "Crow" and landed his first screen role (billed as Dougie Henshall) in "The Big Man."