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Sebastian Stan divides fans with prosthetics for new A24 movie

Sebastian Stan is playing a man with neurofibromatosis who undergoes facial reconstructive surgery for A24 movie A Different Man — but people are divided

Sebastian Stan doesn't know when Bucky's next MCU appearance is

MCU star Sebastian Stan is continuing his foray into indie movies with a role in the A24 thriller movie A Different Man. Concerns have been raised about the film, however, after images of Stan in full prosthetics for his role, wherein he plays a man with neurofibromatosis, were released. Neurofibromatosis is a genetic condition that causes tumours to grow on people’s faces and bodies, which can affect their appearance.

In the film, Stan plays a man with neurofibromatosis who undergoes facial reconstructive surgery, who then becomes obsessed with the man portraying him in a play based on his life. Under the Skin actor Adam Pearson, who also has neurofibromatosis in real life, will play the object of Stan’s obsession.

Stan, who plays Bucky Barnes in the Marvel movies, is also executive producing the drama movie. However, some fans of the actor have spoken out after he posted images of himself in prosthetics on social media, with many accusing him of “cripping up” for the role.

The phrase “cripping up” refers to the controversial practise of non-disabled actors playing disabled roles, with famous examples including Maddie Ziegler playing an autistic person in the musical Music, and Fantastic Beast star Eddie Redmayne playing Stephen Hawking, who had motor neurone disease, in The Theory of Everything.

“God as a fan of Sebastian for a long time I’m so upset about this,” one Twitter user wrote. “Ughhhhhhhh, this is just Hollywood all over,” another added. A third Twitter user wrote, “I don’t understand why two different people with neurofibromatosis weren’t involved given there are plenty of post-op folks who could’ve played the second character Seb is playing.”

The user later shared screenshots of purported direct messages which they claim came from a person who has neurofibroma, a similar condition to the one portrayed in the film. “It’s sad that no one is asking people with NF what they think,” the purported DM read. “I don’t even have neurofibromatosis, but as someone with neurofibroma, I’m hurt by it. I can’t imagine how others are feeling.”

In an op-ed addressing the trope of James Bond villains having facial deformities, Eammon Jacobs wrote, “People with disfigurement should be able to have a positive presence on-screen, although there’s a fine line between genuine representation and ticking a box for a studio to feel better about themselves.”

A representative for Stan and A24 didn’t immediately respond to The Digital Fix’s request for comment via email.