Pearson gets under the skin with Q&A at David Lean Cinema

The June season of (mainly) Thursday screenings at the David Lean Cinema in the Clocktower arts complex includes a special Question and Answer session next week with Adam Pearson following Under The Skin.

Adam Pearson: guest of honour for Q&A session at the David Lean Cinema next week

Adam Pearson: guest of honour for Q&A session at the David Lean Cinema next week

Croydon-based Pearson was born with neurofibromatosis, a condition which causes non-cancerous tumours to grow on nerve tissue. In his case, the majority of these tumours are on his face. But acting with Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin changed the way people look at him, he says.

Before appearing in the film, Pearson had become immured to people staring at him. Like the time he was in one of Croydon’s DVD stores a couple of years ago and he found himself the focus of attention for a group of teenaged girls, loudly talking about him and taking pictures of him on this mobiles. “They were saying ‘Oh, look at that man’,” says Pearson.

“All I wanted to do was buy The Hobbit on Blu-Ray.”

These days, people hiring DVDs (do people still do that?) are just as likely to want to take out Under the Skin, which was critically acclaimed when released last year. It is a science fiction film directed by Jonathan Glazer about an alien who roams the streets of Glasgow abducting and killing unsuspecting men. Pearson’s first encounter in the movie with Johansson is one of the highlights.

“One of the main reasons for taking the role was because it was so moving and honest,” Pearson said in an interview for The Guardian last year. “For me, the film is about what the world looks like without knowledge and without prejudice. It’s about seeing the world through alien eyes, I guess.”

The Save The David Lean Cinema Campaign offers you a rare chance to be able to ask Pearson questions about the film and his charitable causes after the screening on Thursday, June 12.

The Campaign’s June season begins today with a screening of the multi-national movie The Past at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. The season also includes a screening on Monday, June 23, as part of the Purley Festival.

Online booking is easy via the David Lean Cinema Campaign’s TicketSource page. To be added to the Campaign’s membership list, please email

  • Tickets for all screenings are £7.50. Concessions (Freedom Pass-holders, full time students, claimants and disabled) £6. Bookings can be made  via TicketSource 

David Lean Cinema June programme

Thu June 5 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm THE PAST (12A) 2013 FRANCE/ITALY/IRAN 130 mins (subtitled) Director: Asghar Farhadi 
Starring: Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim, Ali Mostaffa. Deserted by her Iranian husband Ahmad (Mosaffa), Marie (Bejo – The Artist) has begun a new relationship with Samir (Rahim – A Prophet). When Ahmad returns to Paris to finalise their divorce, he has to live under the same roof as the pair, and tensions between Marie and her elder daughter explode. Bejo won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her work in this intricate and intense domestic drama.

Thu June 12 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm UNDER THE SKIN (15) 2013 UK 108 mins Director: Jonathan Glazer – Q&A at evening screening
Starring: Scarlett Johansson. The synopsis on simply reads, “An alien seductress preys upon the population of Scotland.” That’s a fair introduction to this extraordinary picture, which is as unique and disturbing as you might expect from the director of Sexy Beast and Birth. While it features non-actors in unscripted scenes, we are delighted to welcome an important member of the regular cast to a Q&A at our evening screening: Adam Pearson will talk about his performance in the film, and his work with the charities Changing Faces and Jeans for Genes.

Thu June 19 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm SUZANNE (12A) 2013 FRANCE 94 mins (subtitled) Director: Katell Quillevéré
Starring: Sara Forestier, François Damiens, Adèle Haenel. The second of this month’s films to revive the David Lean’s great French cinema tradition, Suzanne is a very different family drama to The Past. Single father Nicolas (Damiens – Delicacy) does his best to bring up his two daughters, but his ability to hold the family together is tested as Suzanne (Forestier) goes off the rails. Praised as “subtle, beautiful and mysterious” (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian).

Mon June 23 at 7.30pm: 20 FEET FROM STARDOM (12A) 2013 USA 91 mins Director: Morgan Neville – special screening for PURLEY FESTIVAL
Featuring: Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer. This exuberant film, which received the 2014 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, tells the story of the black female backing singers who greatly enhanced some of the greatest pop and rock music of our time. Despite working with famous names such as Phil Spector, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder, these outstanding vocalists rarely achieved solo success.

Thu June 26 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm THE LUNCHBOX (PG) 2013 INDIA 104 mins (subtitled) Director: Ritesh Batra
Starring: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The Mumbai lunch delivery service is famed for never losing an order. So, neglected wife Ila (Kaur) is puzzled when her husband fails to appreciate her delicious new recipes, until she finds a note from widowed office worker Fernandes (Khan) in the returned lunchbox. Balancing humour with romance and a sometimes melancholic tone, and creating believable characters who you’ll root for, this wonderful film demonstrates that contemporary Indian cinema has a huge amount to offer beyond Bollywood razzmatazz.

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