“Adam Pearson is used to people noticing him. A few weeks ago, he was in a DVD shop near his home in Croydon, south London, and a gaggle of teenage girls starting talking loudly about him and taking photos of his face on their smartphones. “They were saying ‘Oh, look at that man’,” says Pearson. “And all I wanted to do was buy The Hobbit on Blu-Ray.”
Pearson suffers from neurofibromatosis, a condition that affects one in every 2,300 people and which causes non-cancerous tumours to grow on nerve tissue. In his case, the majority of these tumours are on his face although, he adds drily, “I’ve got one on my arse I probably won’t show you”. Throughout his 29 years, he has been bullied, harassed and called everything from Elephant Man to Scarface.
(Identical twins Neil (left) and Adam Pearson both suffer neurofibromatosis)
Every time he goes out, people stare. On the way to our interview, Pearson was stopped by a couple of passersby as he got on the train. This time, however, it was not as a result of his condition – it was because he has begun to be recognised. Pearson is currently starring alongside Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin, a critically acclaimed science fiction film directed by Jonathan Glazer about an alien who roams the streets of Glasgow abducting and killing unsuspecting men…”
“When I first got this role I just cried like a baby because I was like, ‘Wow, next Halloween, I’m gonna open the door and there’s gonna be a little kid dressed as the Falcon.’ That’s the thing that always gets me. I feel like everybody deserves that. I feel like there should be a Latino superhero.
Scarlett does great representation for all the other girls, but there should be a Wonder Woman movie. I don’t care if they make 20 bucks, if there’s a movie you’re gonna lose money on, make it Wonder Woman. You know what I mean, ’cause little girls deserve that. There’s so many of these little people out here doing awful things for money in the world of being famous. And little girls see that. They should have the opposite spectrum of that to look up to” - Anthony Mackie
"Peacock Manor is a gothic horror film about Abigail Fortuna, a singer who rose to great fame in the 1950s — however, for every great stroke of luck she had, someone close to her would die. Amid the controversy of her stardom, she cut her own career short, retiring to live on a rural peacock plantation.
The film begins 20 years after this point; Abigail hires Vince, a psychiatrist, to live on the plantation and help treat her, as her sanity has begun to deteriorate from living in such isolated conditions for so many years. During his stay at Abigail’s estate, Vince begins to notice unusual occurrences on the property, and as he delves further into the mystery surrounding Abigail, his discoveries become increasingly sinister. “
I have had a lifelong affinity for the 1950s and the Gothic horror genre and I am eager to marry the two in this macabre tale, creating a fresh and unique cross-genre short film. Thematically, Peacock Manor’s plot acts as an allegory for the price of fame, detailing the downfall of a sick woman after she made vast sacrifices for her career, and the psychiatrist who unluckily crosses her path.
Peacock Manor is a horror film at its core, and contains elements of the supernatural and punctuated with ghastly moments. The short stems from a myriad of inspirations, including the writings of Flannery O’Connor and Edgar Allen Poe, and also films such as Sunset Boulevard and Santa Sangre.