WHEN filming BBC murder mystery Ordeal by Innocence last summer, Crystal Clarke found herself as the go-to woman for tips on Glasgow hotspots.

The US-born actress spent three years studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and since graduating in 2014 has gone on to grace the big screen in Star Wars films The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

She returned to Glasgow last summer to shoot the three-part Agatha Christie adaptation. "Everyone was asking: 'Where should we go to eat, Crystal?' and I would recommend all of the good places. I'd say: 'Don't go there, it's boring and the music is crap' or 'Go to this one, the food is great.'"

What are her own favourite haunts? "Mono, definitely," she enthuses. "I didn't get to go to Sub Club and that was a favourite [when she lived in Glasgow]. Thai Lemongrass is a really good restaurant."

The glittering cast for the big-budget drama, which began on Sunday night, includes Bill Nighy, Anna Chancellor and Morven Christie.

Crystal, 24, plays Tina Argyll, one of five adopted children alongside Eleanor Tomlinson, Ella Purnell, Christian Cooke and Anthony Boyle.

Set in the 1950s, the action unfolds at the family estate Sunny Point – filmed at Ardgowan Estate near Inverkip – with Crystal's adoptive parents, Leo and Rachel, played by Bill and Anna.

"She is the only person of colour in this family and for miles around," explains Crystal. "Her other siblings feel like they have been taken away from lives that they would have been happy to lead.

"Tina knows that because of her skin colour, she would have been at a disadvantage and is much more grateful for the life that Rachel and Leo have given her.

"So, when everything goes down per se, she doesn't want things to fall apart and is trying to keep control and everyone together."

Ordeal by Innocence was due to be shown in December last year, but was shelved after Ed Westwick, who played Mickey Argyll, faced allegations of rape and sexual assault in the US dating back several years, which the actor has strongly denied.

Large sections of the TV drama were reshot in January with Christian Cooke taking over the role of Mickey. Crystal was conscious of making sure that Christian felt welcome among the existing cast.

"We met up before we started reshoots and had a coffee," she says. "It was a new thing for him and we [the rest of the cast] had already done [filming previously], so I wanted him to feel included and accepted."

While researching and preparing for her role as Tina Argyll, Crystal read the novel Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay, the best-selling author who was adopted as a baby and grew up in Bishopbriggs.

"I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and spotted something about Jackie Kay which said she was adopted, had two white parents and from Scotland," she says.

"I read her novel about her adoption and growing up as the only person of colour in her class. It is something I can understand. I know what it is like to be the only person of colour in a group."

Crystal recounts her own experiences of taking acting classes as a teenager. "I went to programmes where I was the only person of colour – and one specifically where I was the only person of colour and the kids were outright racist."

She is hugely proud of her roots. Her parents Wayne and Harriet are first generation immigrants to America. "My mom is from Trinidad and my dad from Guyana," says Crystal.

"My mom works in medical billing at a children's hospital and my dad is self-employed – he does work for the city and is a landlord. It is real bootstraps, American dream."

The couple settled in New Jersey where they raised Crystal and her elder brother. "They moved to America and made their own way," she says. "They embraced that American dream as far as they could because they were still at a disadvantage being of colour and immigrants.

"I am always aware that they probably would have got even more from the amount of work that they put in had they looked different and been born in that country.

"But what is still amazing – and gives me inspiration – is that they have achieved so much. Their hard work has given me opportunity."

Ordeal by Innocence continues on BBC One, Sunday, 9pm. Watch episode one on BBC iPlayer now