Gained fame starring in the revealing role of Gaz in the 1997 film The Full Monty and played Ducky in the 2000 film The Beach. Other notable films include Trainspotting and 28 Weeks Later. In 2011, he began starring in Once Upon a Time.
He worked as a painter with his father. He dropped out of high school when he was 16, but continued his education at Cardonald College in Glasgow.
He was nominated for an Emmy for his work in the 2005 film Human Trafficking.
His mother Elizabeth worked for a bus company. After she left the family, Robert was raised by his father, who worked as a painter and decorator. He married Anastasia Shirley in 1997, and he has two sons named Pearce and Harvey and a daughter named Ava.