John Simm and Stuart Laing talked with us
about their involvement in Father's Day, our dark mini-drama
about prostate cancer which also starred Neil Stuke, Ray Winstone,
Charles Dance, Cyril Nri, and Tamzin Outhwaite.
John Simm: "I got involved with the
Father's Day film through Martin Sadofski, the writer, and Neil Stuke, both
very old friends of mine. They told me the premise and the fact it
was for such a great cause, (with a superb cast!) and I agreed.
Both my parents have, in recent years, suffered from cancer and
I've unfortunately lost a few friends and colleagues to it over the
years. It's a shocking statistic that one man dies every hour
from prostate cancer in the UK. I hope the film will raise
awareness so that men won't treat prostate cancer as such a taboo
subject between themselves, and that it will help them to be aware
of, and not ignore, the symptoms."
Stuart Laing: "From the beginning it
seemed a very important, positive cause. I knew the people
involved, I knew Martin Sadofski was a very good writer and it
seemed a brilliant way to highlight a difficult issue - through
drama. So they came up with an exciting movie instead of something
like a public information film. I think it's something that people
will want to watch, not switch off.
"I already knew quite a bit about prostate cancer. In fact, just
before I was offered the part, I'd had a health scare myself and
because of the symptoms was given a PSA test for prostate cancer. I was pretty
apprehensive, a bit scared to be honest, while I was waiting for
the results. It was only a short time, but I found it hard to
concentrate on anything else, it really played on my mind, however
much I tried to distract myself.
"On the day I got the results, it was such a feeling of relief to
get the all clear. I think my dread had been heightened by seeing
how the disease had affected someone close to me. My father-in-law
is 66 and he found he had prostate cancer 5 years ago. It was a
late diagnosis, nearly too late and he has had radical treatment.
He's recovered well, but it could easily have been a different
"I did recognise the reluctance of men to talk about their
problems as it was portrayed in the film. My own father died last
year in his late 70s. He'd had two heart attacks and wasn't in good
health, but it wasn't until he'd had a heart attack that he really
began to open up. He was from a generation that were very buttoned
up, never talked about sex or his feelings. But the heart attack
left him emotionally vulnerable and we talked more openly about
health and many other things then than we ever had before.
"As a family we've had a really tough time healthwise. My
father-in-law's prostate cancer, my father's death, and my wife Ali
had a breast cancer scare not long before I had the PSA test. Her
mother has had breast cancer, so Ali is monitored for it. We've
certainly become much more aware about cancer risks and the
importance of looking after our health, a good diet and so on."
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