Tomislav Jurcec, 23, looks no older than 15 and has landed acting work on the hit TV series ‘Game of Thrones’. He was diagnosed with a rare medical condition which causes a fault in his pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is responsible for controlling growth and aging.
Essentially he is trapped in the body of a child. He has used the condition to his advantage, however, as it has landed him multiple acting roles. To look like a pre-teen but have the maturity level of someone much older is almost a type-cast in TV and film given the number of stories that feature this kind of character.
Jurcec’s main job is in IT and he works as an actor on a part-time basis if a role that interests him crops up. For instance, he has been a stand-in for Peter Dinklage, who plays the dwarf Tyrion Lannister on ‘Game of Thrones’. He has also played the uncredited role of ‘Hero Corpse Child’ on the show.
Jurcec first decided to start acting about 10 years ago when he met theater director Boris Balak. He and Balak quickly became friends and their friendship inspired him to try his hand at acting.
He then moved to attend acting school in Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia. Since then, Jurcec has appeared in plays and even a Finnish movie as well as his roles on Game of Thrones.
Mr. Jurcec is aware that he looks much younger than his age. He has been in many situations over the years where it has come up and many of those instances have been rather comical.
He says that it’s especially funny when he tries to buy cigarettes or alcohol. He states that it’s funny to see the reaction that people have. It’s usually that of “shock and disbelief”.
This is the way that he usually responds to this reaction: “I raise my head, I smile, I give my ID and the next thing is: ‘Here are the cigarettes, thank you and goodbye!'”
His friend Zvonimir also added: “If we drink or something like that, people look at the waiter rather strangely, as if to say: ‘How could you give alcohol to a kid?'”
While there is such a thing as pituitary tumors, they are very uncommon. In fact, only one in 1,000 adults has one—and they are even less common in kids. Some, like Jurcec, merely have a gene defect or a faulty gene.
Nevertheless, it appears that Jurcec has found a way to make the best of his situation. It’s a wonder that scientists haven’t found a way to replicate and control it, imagine how in demand it would be!