Former Britain's Got Talent champion George Sampson is set to appear in upcoming gay drama film Closets.
The film, which is currently being adapted from the IRIS Prize-winning short of the same name starring Cucumber's Cel Spellman and Julie Hesmondhalgh, focuses on a 16-year-old boy struggling to come to terms with his sexuality in 1986, who finds himself mysteriously transported 30 years into the future, to the present-day Britain.
After meeting another closeted teenager born decades after him, the pair begin to an epic journey across time and space, at one point meeting a Stonewall rioter named Jack, set to be played by Sampson.
23-year-old Sampson won the second series of Britain's Got Talent as a dancer in 2008, before going on to star as Kyle Slack in BBC drama Waterloo Road and landing a recurring role on ITV's Emmerdale earlier this year.
"Everyday in the news I see reports of young people being bullied for who they are and what they believe in, with sometimes devastating outcomes," Sampson told Attitude of his decision to take on the role.
"Closets is important to get involved in to show young people struggling with any sorts of bullying that there is hope and support out there."
He continued: "As a dancer I was bullied, people would assume that I was gay, as dancing was a 'gay' thing to do... but it had nothing to do with sexuality. Jealousy was the real issue and everything they said to me actually spoke volumes about them as a person, and not me.
"My dancing has been amazing for me, and I'm laughing because I stuck to it. Basically they can go and f*** themselves!"
With sponsors including the gay Lord Mayor Manchester Carl Austin-Behan, the original version of Closets went on to win the IRIS Youth Award as well as the Best Of British IRIS Prize, and is currently being played in selected schools across Wales.
Director Lloyd Eyre-Morgan says he hopes the the sci-fi action adventure, which is currently in pre-production, will stand as "a beacon of hope for young people or anyone that's ever experienced hate, adding it "mixes the heart of Billy Elliot with the passion of Pride".
Watch the trailer for the original prize-winning short below: