A YOUNG actor has created a short film about body image after struggling with his own weight.

Daniel Kerr, who starred as a young Paul Ferris in “The Wee Man”, worked on the 25-minute movie during lockdown.

The 21-year-old admitted that he had been struggling with the way he looked and decided to create his first short film to express himself.

He said: “I haven’t really liked the way I look, and it has made me very judgmental of myself and in turn, judgemental of other people.

“I realised it was incredibly unhealthy and that I had to do something. I thought about how many other people were feeling like that, because it really does eat you up and makes you unable to enjoy a lot of things.

“I’d try and skip out on holidays because I didn’t want to be seen without a top on and things like that.

“I used to say to my family: ‘I’m not going on holiday this year, I’ll see you in 10 days’. Silly things, but when you get into your own head it can really affect the way you behave.”

Glasgow Times:

Daniel, from Bearsden in East Dunbartonshire, became the youngest ever winner of a BAFTA award for up-and-coming talent in 2013 for his performance in The Wee Man – which tells the story of how Glasgow gangster Paul Ferris entered the city’s crime underworld.

The former Bearsden Academy pupil has also starred in Outlander, Doctor Who, and Waterloo Road.

He said: “I’m completely untrained. When I was younger, I always wanted to do acting and my parents pushed me when they realised I liked it.

“I went to drama clubs, got an agent and started going for parts.

“I’ve been in a few short films, but this is the first one I’ve created on my own. I was responsible for everything.

“If you’re acting, all you have to concern yourself with is your performance, whereas I had to line up where the cameras were going to go, the editing, the music etc.

“It’s actually quite low budget because it was filmed in lockdown but that worked because the main character Norm is a very lonely person.

“It was quite uncomfortable filming some of it because it was trying to address feelings that I have about myself, in a very exaggerated way.

“It was really hard to make, and I gave up a few times. I didn’t want to put it out because I’m shirtless in it.

“However, it’s made me feel a lot better about myself and helped me get rid of those feelings I had.”

Glasgow Times:

The movie, which took around two months to make, is now being entered into short film festivals.

Daniel said: “I didn’t want to just come out and say that I was disgusted with myself. I wanted to try and make something to be proud of and put a good bit of work into.

“I thought that I could make a wee film to express myself and show how I feel about it.

“Norm is irredeemable. He is manipulative, vindictive and will destroy friendships based on his body image.

“I haven’t done anything like that, but I think if you leave these feelings long enough and not deal with them, it could probably lead to that.

“I noticed I started to put weight on at the end of 2017. For years after that, I’d try different diets and I’d end up breaking them.

“I tried a really extreme diet during lockdown last year and I managed to lose a stone. But to get to that, I felt as if I was really bashing myself.

“I’m certain if I’d have kept to that ridiculous diet that I would have been worse than when I started it, because eating nothing or very little in order to lose weight isn’t how you’re meant to live.”

Glasgow Times:

Daniel, who admitted that he never spoke about his feelings to his family, said they were surprised when they found out.

He felt like he didn’t want to speak to anyone about the situation, but that everyone has been supportive since they watched the film.

He said: “The film can only do so much. I still need to reconcile with myself a bit.

“If I was going on holiday tomorrow, I’d still be very wary about it but would probably go.

“But it’s put me in the right direction.

“I think body image has become very important in the acting industry and it’s something I’ve been thinking about.

“Not just because I didn’t feel good about myself, I wonder if I am going to get a part because I’ve put on weight.

“When I was at school there was certainly body shaming going on and it’s very visible in society, especially online.

“If you’re an actor and trying to make it in the industry you feel like you need to diet. It’s a very competitive industry and if you don’t have that edge, you’re probably not going to get the job you want.

“When you go for an audition, you’re told exactly what they’re looking for and if you don’t look like that then you don’t get an audition.

“You won’t even get offered the chance to try.

“I think there are plenty of actors out there who are fantastic and because of their body type they’re probably being discriminated against because of the beauty standards we have. And I think that needs to stop.”

Warning: Sensitive content relating to body image

To watch Daniel’s film, click here.