Sebastian Stan Defends 'A Different Man' Role Against 'Beast' Label in Berlin

Exploring Deep Themes in 'A Different Man'.

by Nouman Rasool
Sebastian Stan Defends 'A Different Man' Role Against 'Beast' Label in Berlin
© Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

During the press conference of the Berlin Film Festival, the journalist brought the controversial character of his to one of the world's leading performers with magnetic character portrayal, Sebastian Stan. The poignant film of identity and perception features Stan as Edward, an aspiring actor with a facial disfigurement.

The story follows Edward's life after he gets reconstructive surgery while he tries to get over a troubling obsession he has with an actor played by Adam Pearson who is his spitting image in the play. The incident occurred when a journalist, obviously not a native English speaker, questioned why the word "beast" is used for Edward before his transformation and then "perfect" after.

Stan, however, in demonstration of his understanding of the character's complexity, pointed out the extremeness of the poverty and frailty of language, especially when one deals with such complex human experiences. "Beast is not the word," Stan added, really trying to emphasize the importance of perhaps a more learned and nuanced way of speaking about some of the topics like disfigurement and identity.

Perception and Identity Explored

"A Different Man" is highly introspective on its subjects and has been praised because it considers topics such as disability, perception, and identity. Produced by A24 and Killer Films, the masses are drawn to the film and it re-evaluates them.

Adam Pearson, who features with Stan, brings authenticity to his role based on his own experiences with neurofibromatosis. Pearson, who starred in "Chained for Life," has previously acted with Aaron Schimberg and reflects on the importance of representation and the significant effect it has on real discussion for social perception change.

His approach to challenging stereotypes is not through shock but through thoughtful and kind exposure. Schimberg actually believes in such an approach himself, then, in casting with actual disfigurements for these roles, rather, as a way to stay true and be able to explore these experiences: that choice which actually challenges and, in every respect, enriches the all-too-common presentation from Hollywood.

'A Different Man' stands testimony to the great accomplishment cinema can make in making others feel connected and understood. Stan and Pearson, under Schimberg's sensitive direction, provide a film that both entertains and informs, giving its audience an experience they may not forget for a while.