I helped Hollywood star Bill Murray to shine in role
A Leicestershire man has helped Hollywood star Bill Murray prepare for his latest role as Franklin D Roosevelt by advising him on how to portray the former US president's debilitating condition.
Mike Egan, 66, who was diagnosed with polio at the age of four, is credited as an adviser on the forthcoming film Hyde Park on Hudson, released on February 1.
The movie stars 62-year-old Murray as paralysed president Roosevelt – who lost the use of both legs after contracting the virus in 1921.
To prepare for the part, Murray enlisted the help of Markfield man Mike who, like Roosevelt, depends on full-leg callipers and crutches to get about.
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Mike, a trustee of the British Polio Fellowship, was chosen for the advisory role after the organisation was contacted by the film's producers in 2011.
"They wanted to get someone's advice and I was disabled by polio in a similar way to Roosevelt so I was put forward," he said.
In July 2011, he travelled to London to visit the Elstree film studios, where the film was being shot, and met Bill and director Roger Michell.
Mike said: "When I walked in to the room and met Bill for the first time he had already been fitted with full- length leg callipers – just as Roosevelt would have worn, and the same type I wear.
"I showed him how to use them and how to stand up and sit down.
"Roosevelt had no use in his legs, so it was about making Bill aware of how to move."
The trio spent hours talking and discussing how years of living with polio would have affected Roosevelt, who was in office between 1933 and 1945.
"Bill was nice guy, but I didn't really get to chat to him about anything else – it was quite an intense thing and the director was keen that we get everything right, so we just concentrated on the task."
Mike was invited to the cast and crew screening of the film in London in April last year.
He said: "I was interested to see how he had taken my advice on-board and how he portrayed living with polio.
"Bill was obviously very receptive to what I was saying.
"I thought he did very well and the film goes a long way to bringing it to people's attention and highlighting the fact that there are still thousands of people living with polio around the world."
There are about 120,000 people in the UK who suffer from the disease.