Sebastian Stan has revealed a first look at his transformation into a man with neurofibromatosis in upcoming A24 drama A Different Man.
Neurofibromatosis, also known as NF, is a genetic condition which can cause benign tumours to develop along the nervous system, which can grow anywhere on the body.
The film follows Stan's character Edward as he undergoes facial reconstruction surgery and subsequently becomes obsessed with an actor who has been cast to portray him in a stage play about his life before the operation.
Alongside Stan, the film features actor and presenter Adam Pearson, who himself has NF and is rumoured to be playing the actor in the stage play.
Pearson previously appeared with Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin and has been an outspoken campaigner for awareness of his condition and of facial deformity more generally.
A Different Man marks Pearson's second collaboration with director Aaron Schimberg, with whom he also made 2019 movie Chained for Life.
The cast also includes Renate Reinsve, who scored a Cannes award and a BAFTA nomination for her lead role in The Worst Person in the World.
Stan's decision to take on the role has been criticised in some quarters, with Rachel Charlton-Dailey — founder of disability publication The Unwritten — writing that she was "so upset" to see Stan in the role.
In a follow-up tweet, she wrote that it was "highly offensive" for Stan to "dress up in a costume" when there was already an actor with NF on the set.
Another social media user, who said she lives with a mild form of NF, wrote that she was "brought to happy tears" by the image of Stan, adding: "Representation matters and I can finally see myself in a movie for the first time."
Pearson himself spoke of his pride in the movie, writing: "I’m honoured to be working on this project — it’s been in the works for a long time and is going to be very important, trust me, I know what I’m doing."
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