Pearse Egan, who was bullied relentlessly throughout his childhood, has told how the release of his breakthrough film in Irish cinemas finally gave him a way out of a traumatic past. In On the sidea poignant new film about a gay London rugby team, has won over audiences and critics alike since hitting cinemas in Ireland and the UK last week.
But for the Dublin-born actor, who stars as club comedian Pinky in his first big-screen role, the film was life-changing in more ways than one. It also marks the moment he finally came to terms with his heartbreaking past.
The 33-year-old, who was teased and teased daily at school in Dun Laoghaire, said: “It’s taken so long to get to this point but in the end I’m proud of who I am and what I defend.”
After last night’s previews, some early reviews have arrived! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ pic.twitter.com/VBRKZslW8h
— FROM THE SIDE (@infromtheside) September 15, 2022
Now based in London and also working in the city’s competitive stand-up comedy circuit, he continued: ‘I don’t go back to Ireland much these days as I often feel like I don’t have any does enough to justify going home proud. But now it’s different.
“The film is showing in cinemas around Ireland, and that means everything to me. I can now go home with my head held high and watch the film with my mum and friends. What an occasion that will be.
Book your ticket while it’s still showing 🎟🍿
(It won’t be there forever…) pic.twitter.com/Aaez5DORIr
— FROM THE SIDE (@infromtheside) September 22, 2022
Pearse, who is openly gay, also said he hoped the rugby film, directed by Matt Carter and co-starring the former Emmerdale actor Alexander Lincoln, will encourage other young people struggling with their sexuality to come out.
Recalling the daily torrent of abuse he suffered as a child, he added: “I used to have constant flashbacks to the horrible things I went through at school, being called ‘fag’ or ‘girl’ every time I opened my mouth, or whenever I was physically attacked.
“I used to use so much energy hating kids who picked on me, but now I’ve flipped the narrative. I’m in control, and I’ve traded in all that negativity for positivity .
“Stand-up and acting have been cathartic for me, but it took until now, the release of this film, for me to fully move on. And I’d like to thank everyone who bullied me and tell them that I forgive them.
“I would like them all to go see this film. I’m sure they’d be shocked at how good I am on the big screen.
Pearse also appeared on a hit TV show long lost family, where he was successfully reunited with his biological father. Since then, he has bonded closely with his Brazil-based father, Eddie Santos, and even started learning Portuguese in order to communicate better with him.
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