Susan Vidler was born in Scotland but spent five years of her childhood in South Africa, before returning home to complete her education at Prestonlodge High School, Prestonpans in East Lothian and then going on to study acting at the Welsh College of Music and Drama. Stagework followed, including the theatrical version of "Trainspotting", in which she played the junkie mum "Alison", a role she repeated in the film adaptation, Trainspotting (1996). In 1997, she appeared in a short film - also about drug addicts - entitled California Sunshine (1997), directed by David Mackenzie and starring his brother, Alastair Mackenzie. Susan and Alistair became an item shortly afterwards and have a daughter named Martha and a son named Freddy. They live in London.