28/08/2018 14:39 BST

Lisa Hammond Criticises 'Elephant Man' Casting Of Charlie Heaton

'We can't get a foot in the door... and we also aren't allowed to tell our own stories.'

Former ‘EastEnders’ actress Lisa Hammond has criticised an upcoming biopic about ‘The Elephant Man’, which has cast ‘Stranger Things’ star Charlie Heaton in the titular role.

Sharing her feelings about the issue on Twitter, Lisa claimed that the casting decision was an example of an opportunity that could have gone to a disabled actor being taken away.

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Lisa - who has a condition which restricted her growth when she was growing up - wrote: “Ah the familiar story of a non disabled actor getting 2 tell story of a real disabled man.

“[Disabled people] cant get a foot in the door 4 so called non disabled roles & we also aren’t allowed to tell our own stories [sic].”

Following her tweet, Lisa got various responses from people claiming that the role should go to the best person for the role, regardless of whether they have a disability, to which she tried to explain her side of the argument:

The upcoming two-part drama will tell the true story of Joseph Merrick, who gained fame in the late 1800s as ‘The Elephant Man’, a nickname he earned in a show for so-called “human oddities” due to physical deformities relating to his skin, face, arms and feet.

After being discovered by Dr Frederick Treves in 1884, he spent the last six years of his life living in the London Hospital, where he eventually died, at the age of 27.

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Charlie Heaton

Charlie - best known for his portrayal of Jonathan Bryers in Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ - said of the upcoming project: “I’m extremely excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to take on the portrayal of Joseph Merrick in the BBC’s adaption of The Elephant Man.

“This is such a special role and a challenge for any actor. Joseph has such an incredible story and I can’t wait to go on this journey and bring him to life.”

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