I suppose I could start by saying that I think this is the biggest and best story of my career but then my wife says I think that about all my films. Nevertheless, it’s the best Thalidomide film ever made. Now everyone will know the whole truth about the continuing thalidomide tragedy.
The film takes audiences on an emotional roller coaster ride. It intercuts inspiring stories of eight Thalidomiders whose courage and determination has no limits with the marketing activities of big pharma companies who accepted no limits in their pursuit of profits.
As shocking and outrageous as the personal accounts of these characters are, they nonetheless are the real heroes, showing me in many ways that life is worth living. Their bravery in facing all that life has thrown at them enabled me to overcome a small disability a few years ago, when I lost one eye.
People often ask me what it’s like to hang out with Thalidomiders and I tell them that over the years they have become very good friends and I enjoy their company especially their humour, they like to joke, and as people know, so do I.
I have lived with this story for over 25 years and hope this film will serve as a cautionary tale of what happens to individuals when our society and our governments let their guard down pressured by international drug companies to quickly approve or release a drug in order to make money fast. Those pressures existed 50 years ago, and still do today.
Thalidomiders have not received justice from the day they were born. I hope with this film we have significantly contributed to the ongoing campaign for the Thalidomiders to get retribution and the real financial assistance that they should have had from day one.