Wearing prosthetics for ‘Different Man’ was ‘eye opening,’ says star

By Thomson Reuters Feb 16, 2024 | 2:55 PM

BERLIN (Reuters) – Wearing facial prosthetics in public was key for Sebastian Stan, with superhero movie good looks, to get a better grasp of his character Edward’s shifting identity in art house powerhouse A24’s latest dark-yet-witty thriller “A Different Man.”

Edward – played by Stan – is offered a chance to take part in a drug trial to remove his facial disfigurement, only to fall into the chasm that opens when outward appearances change faster than someone’s self-identity can keep pace with.

“Getting to walk out there a little bit in the world and just even remotely trying to experience what, you know, might be an everyday experience for somebody was very eye-opening,” Stan told Reuters on Friday at the Berlin Film Festival, where the Aaron Schimberg-directed feature is competing for the top prize.

Adam Pearson, known for “Under the Skin,” plays an actor who finds success without having to transform himself, while Renate Reinsve of “The Worst Person in the World” is Edward’s neighbour in her first English-language role.

Pearson, who has neurofibromatosis, said that the film let him show his truer self than in his other film with director Schimberg, “Chained for Life.”

“He wanted to give me a chance to sort of like flex a little bit and play something different that was more gregarious, outgoing and confident, which is a lot more like who I am out in the real world,” Pearson said.

Stan, best known for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” said that he has sought out more meaningful projects and directors who allow him to push himself, which he found with “A Different Man.”

“This particular subject matter isn’t something that’s actually gotten a lot of light, you know, in terms of disability, disfigurement and how we perceive it,” said Stan.

“I think this just offers a conversation, at least, and an awareness that hasn’t been there before,” he added.

(Reporting by Hanna Rantala; Writing by Miranda Murray; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)