Actor Tom Arnold is drawing on his own painful experience of sexual abuse as a child and turning it to his advantage for a role in new movie GARDENS OF THE NIGHT.
The comic plays Alex, a paedophile in the harrowing drama, about a young girl who endures years of abuse at the hands of captors after being kidnapped from her family.
Arnold was just four years old when his 19-year-old male babysitter started molesting him, and he suffered for three years before the horror finally stopped.
He has since made peace with his past and now admits that his own experiences have helped him to fully develop the character.
But it wasn't an easy decision to take on the project.
Arnold, 49, says, "It was a tough choice. I was a smart kid, and (my molester) still got to me. So I wanted to portray a paedophile in a way no one has seen before in order to explain how these things can happen. I even wore the same clothes as him in the movie. Showing this guy meant so much to me."