'It was a bigger deal for her than me': Neurofibromatosis sufferer beats prejudice to film nude with Scarlett Johansson

  • Adam Pearson, 26, suffers from the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis
  • He first appeared on Beauty And The Beast: The Ugly Face Of Prejudice
  • He now stars with Scarlett Johansson in her new film Under The Skin

By Mail On Sunday Reporter


When an email asking for volunteers to star opposite Scarlett Johansson appeared in Adam Pearson’s inbox, he replied saying he’d be willing ‘as a bit of a joke’, and thought no more about it.

But last weekend the film, Under The Skin, opened with the 26-year-old appearing opposite one of the most beautiful women in the world – and for much of the time, both are naked.

Adam, 26, first hit the screen as the memorable face of Channel 4’s groundbreaking series Beauty And The Beast: The Ugly Face Of Prejudice.

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No joke: Adam Pearson stars alongside Scarlett Johansson in her new Hollywood blockbuster Under The Skin where they both shed their clothes

No joke: Adam Pearson stars alongside Scarlett Johansson in her new Hollywood blockbuster Under The Skin where they both shed their clothes

The show paired up those with facial disfigurements with image-obsessed WAGs, to explore society’s fixation  with physical perfection.

And he admits being quite used to shedding his clothes in public. 

 

Adam, who has the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis, which causes  bump-like tumours beneath the skin and around the muscles and nerves, famously appeared in the poster campaign for the show, in just a pair of underpants à la David Beckham.

Yet even he was daunted by the prospect of ‘running around a field  with my tackle out’. 

Against the odds: Mr Pearson, 26, suffers from the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis and first appeared on Beauty And The Beast: The Ugly Face Of Prejudice

Against the odds: Mr Pearson, 26, suffers from the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis and first appeared on Beauty And The Beast: The Ugly Face Of Prejudice

Brave: Mr Pearson's condition causes  bump-like tumours beneath the skin and around the muscles and nerves, and he is an active campaigner for awareness and challenging society's views on 'facial equality'

Brave: Mr Pearson's condition causes bump-like tumours beneath the skin and around the muscles and nerves, and he is an active campaigner for awareness and challenging society's views on 'facial equality'

His character is vital to the plot. Scarlett plays an alien who drives around Scotland in a van seducing men then doing horrible things to them. But meeting Adam is a turning point.

‘When people see a beautiful actress next to someone who is facially disfigured, they think he must be  the bad guy. But in this film, I’m the victim. It’s an interesting twist.

‘And my vulnerability shows her something about humanity that changes her.’

He adds: ‘In the end, the nude scene was a bigger deal for her than it was  for me. I’m totally comfortable in my own skin. The worst part was that I was bloody cold.’

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

I could never be that brave. God Bless you Mr. Pearson.

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Good man.

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It sure is a bit crumpled....but I think that face is FAR from ugly and has a quirky kind of charm ! Good luck Adam.

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mother nature can be a .. 'beach,' but human brain is such a marvelous toy ...

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Just goes to show that anything is possible.... wish I had his part to be with Scarlett!

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film mediocre, Adam was fantastic and made the film. Great guy, great actor. loved him

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Its a great film, but the DM article is misleading, as always. Adam is in the film for less than 10 minutes, and naked for less than 1 minute. Both are kind of naked together for a few fleeting seconds.

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How sad to see the 'top' comments are not supportive of this guy. Why is it so hard for folks to walk a mile in someone else's shoes?

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Poor, poor man. I can't imagine the strength of character, let alone the courage and resilience, required to face the world every day. I hope his success continues. Better yet, some form of gene therapy that might mitigate the effects of his disease, and perhaps stop the progression of the condition after early diagnosis.

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Yawn. Psuedo intellectuals will be smug over this for ages.

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