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Mickey Rourke Film Will No Longer Tell the Story of Gay Welsh Rugby Icon Gareth Thomas

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The long-in-the-works film spearheaded by actor Mickey Rourke which planned to tell the story of Welsh rugby icon Gareth Thomas, who came out of the closet in 2009, has been changed for fears the U.S. film market "won't get Wales," IGN reports:

Sources close to production, however, claim the film will now be set in Ireland, and Rourke will play a character named Mick ‘The Blade’ Collins. Furthermore, the movie will now be called Irish Thunder.

The Sun's source added: “Gareth was upset about being cut out, but hopes the story raises awareness of how hard it is for gay sportsman to come out. Nobody in America really understands rugby and there are fears they wouldn’t know much about Wales either."

A play about Thomas recently opened at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff, Wales.


Watch Gay Rugby Star Gareth Thomas React to the 'Coming Out' Scene in New Play About His Life and Career - VIDEO

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A new play about the life of out Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas opened yesterday at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff, Wales, reports the BBC.

Produced by the National Theatre Wales, Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage tells the story of the former team captain who won 100 caps for Wales before coming out as gay.

From the National Theatre Wales website:

Play“I was doing something nobody had done before, and if you’re the first to do something, you have to be prepared to take the sh*t for it.”

On the eve of one of the most important games of his career, Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas received a warning: The Sun newspaper was going to "out" him as gay.

This is the story of two Welsh names bruised, but not beaten, by media speculation; Gareth “Alfie” Thomas, 100 caps for Wales, once its captain, now the world’s most prominent gay sportsman; and his hometown, Bridgend.

Working with Alfie himself, and young people in Bridgend, two of the UK’s most exciting theatre companies - National Theatre Wales and Out of Joint - have teamed up to tell a great Welsh story about sport, politics, secrets, life and learning to be yourself.

Thomas told the BBC that the play is “an honest and emotional portrayal.”

Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage runs at the Sherman Theatre until March 7th before touring in Aberystwyth, Bethesda, Aberdare and Bridgend.

Watch Thomas sit through a scene in which he tells his wife he is gay, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch Gay Rugby Star Gareth Thomas React to the 'Coming Out' Scene in New Play About His Life and Career - VIDEO" »


Gay Rugby Star Gareth Thomas Tells His Powerful Coming Out Story on 'Jonathan Ross': VIDEO

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Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas was greeted with cheers on The Jonathan Ross Show in the UK last night in conjunction with his new autobiography, Proud.

Thomas talked about how he lived a lie for so long and how damaging it is to a person and those around them. He also spoke about how he couldn't have come out and continued to play rugby at a young age because of the abuse he would have had to endure, and how that continues in sport, particularly football.

Said Thomas:

"I didn't come out because I wanted to be the first person to do it. I came out because I came to the crossroads of living or dying, and that's why I decided to come out. Because I wanted to live. I get stopped, even today, constantly on the street by people I have never met in my entire life, and they'll say to me, 'I Just want to thank you for helping my brother, mother, father, sister, auntie, uncle, because you gave them the strength to be who they want to be...I have won every trophy that I can ever dream of winning but when you affect somebody’s life, in a way that this person is going to have a life that they never thought they could have because of me, stupid old me, because of that they could do that, it’s amazing."

Thomas also talked about the difficulty of telling his former wife Gemma that he's gay.

Watch his powerful interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

As we reported recently, Thomas is the subject of a stage play that is in development, and an upcoming film starring Mickey Rourke.

Continue reading "Gay Rugby Star Gareth Thomas Tells His Powerful Coming Out Story on 'Jonathan Ross': VIDEO" »


The Story of Gay Rugby Star Gareth Thomas is Coming to the Stage

A stage play about the life of gay Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas is in development, Wales Online reports:

ThomasA joint production between National Theatre Wales and Out of Joint, it tells the story of the former Wales rugby captain who came out as gay five years ago.

Alfie has been involved in the production, which is described as telling “a great Welsh story about sport, politics, secrets, life and learning to be yourself.”

Full details about the show’s tour, and its cast, are to be announced in the new year.

Writer Robin Soans is known for his documentary verbatim plays based on interviews with real people, and it is being directed by Max Stafford-Clark.

The announcement said: “This is the story of two Welsh names bruised, but not beaten, by media speculation; Gareth “Alfie” Thomas, 100 caps for Wales, once its captain, now the world’s most prominent gay sportsman; and his hometown, Bridgend.”

National Theatre Wales' artistic director John McGrath said: "National Theatre Wales has always set out to tell great Welsh stories, and they don't come much greater than this. Gareth Thomas is a hero to thousands of people, and his journey from world-class rugby player to world-class gay rights campaigner is extraordinary.

An upcoming movie about Thomas stars Mickey Rourke. Over the summer Rourke told Jimmy Kimmel about a scene in which he shares a bath with another man:

“There’s a scene where I’m in the tub with another guy and I remove my teeth at the front and put them on the edge of the bath – you know, before we get it on."


British Rugby Stars Gareth Thomas and James Haskell Talk Sochi Olympics, Gays in Sports: VIDEO

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Gareth Thomas, the first openly gay international rugby player, and James Haskell, London Wasps flanker and LGBT ally, both stopped by Sportslobster TV to discuss among other things the upcoming Sochi Olympics and the wider issue of the lack of openly gay professional athletes. Best Movies Ever reports:

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 4.57.08 PMWhen asked what his thoughts were on the questions raised about upcoming sporting events planned for countries where there are laws in place against homosexuality, such as the 2014 Russian Winter Olympics and 2022 Qatar World Cup, Thomas gave strong views: "If I was part of a squad going to these countries - I would go there as a gay man and be the best at what I was doing and prove that their laws can not stop me at being the best I can be in sport. Athletes can't have the power to make decisions as to whether to compete in countries where they tolerate homosexuality. They often only have one chance to be the best and they have worked so hard to get there that nothing should hold them back."

England and Wasps flanker, Haskell, supports these views and claims many rugby players are hiding their sexuality due to perceived stigma: "Statistically there must be gay rugby players out there but I don't know of a single one. I feel bad anyone struggles to be true to who they are, as no one should have to live a lie."

"With Gareth - being gay was just a side story, as he was just a brilliant rugby player first and foremost. I don't think most in rugby could care less whether a teammate was gay - but there are definitely boundaries where some who you call friends and teammates may look at you a different way if you come out. The fact a rugby player may say they prefer men to women does not mean it should have any relevance in sport. Certainly in rugby it is becoming more acceptable but, regardless of what people may say, there will always be preconceptions and stereotypes in the sport."

Check out a video of the two discussing gay players as well as Thomas's upcoming biopic starring Mickey Rourke AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "British Rugby Stars Gareth Thomas and James Haskell Talk Sochi Olympics, Gays in Sports: VIDEO" »


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