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Acting helps me cope with Asperger's, says dad-of-four

Published: 19 Aug 2014 09:300 comments

AN ASPIRING actor who took up the craft to overcome his Asperger’s syndrome has landed the leading role in an independent film.

Movie making: Actor Raa Marchant and his son Brennan, 16, will be starring in the film A Fathers Justice, pictured with family Joanne, Lincoln, five and Kaden, eight. PHOTO: Emma Sheppard 141948

Winnersh father-of-four Raa Marchant will star in A Father’s Justice, to be filmed on location in Lancashire, and he hopes the role will lead to more acting work. The film tells the story of Steven Alexander, a military man who slips into a coma after being injured during a mission.

A year later he wakes to find his daughter murdered by a drugs gang and sets out to avenge her death.

Mr Marchant, who lives in Church Close with his wife Joanne and children, said: “I am excited and nervous. There are some scenes that I will struggle with, like having to break down on screen. I have no idea how I am going to get round that.”

Mr Marchant has always been interested in films and acting, having been inspired by Jackie Chan and his films, during a year spent being home-schooled when he was a young boy.

The 39-year-old explained: “It is very difficult for me to deal with social situations and to be put in the spotlight. Acting brought me out of my shell a bit. When I was younger I really struggled with Asperger’s. That is part of the reason why we do it, to face our fears.”

After embarking on a rigorous training regime, Mr Marchant has slimmed down, losing a stone and a half, and he has also bulked up his muscle with daily two-hour weights sessions and 90-minute bicycle rides.

Mr Marchant’s 16-year-old son Brennan, who also has Asperger’s, will appear in the film alongside his father, as he has in many of their self-made productions.

Director Damion Slater-Cambell will film three different endings to the movie, to ensure the final plot remains a secret. It is hoped the film will be released on DVD, available nationally.

Mr Marchant, who works as site manager at The Forest School, said the biggest challenge would be relinquishing control of the production of the film. He added: “I direct them, I edit them and now it is taken out of our hands and I have got to do as I’m told!”

More leading roles could be waiting in the wings for Mr Marchant, who even has a Hollywood name to match his career aspirations. Raa, taken from the Eygptian sun god Ra, is not the name Mr Marchant was born with. He changed his name 15 years ago to raise money for a charity event, although his mother still insists on calling him Wayne.

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