The actor, who is currently playing the dad of a transgender child in ITV's Butterfly, reveals why he got a tribute butterfly tattoo.

Emmett J Scanlan has been so moved by his role as the dad of a transgender child in ITV’s three-part Sunday night drama Butterfly, that he now has a black butterfly tattoo on his right foot.

During an interview with This Morning presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, Emmett removed his flip-flops to reveal the large tattoo and explained: “It’s what I do for any project that has changed me on a professional or personal level dramatically. I get a tattoo to commemorate it. In particular there have been three milestone roles for me.”

As well as his current role as dad Stephen Duffy in Butterfly, Emmett also included his character Charlie Barnum in the 2010 film Charlie Casanova, and his time as village bad boy Brendan Brady in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks as career-defining moments.

As a real-life dad, Emmett admits he was immediately moved by the script for Butterfly, which centres on Vicky Duffy (played by Anna Friel) and her estranged husband Stephen, who discover their 11-year-old son Max has been identifying as a girl Maxine but is now being bullied at school and trying to bury feelings of gender dysmorphia.

“It absolutely floored me,” he said. “I read the three scripts in one sitting. I broke down in parts, I laughed in parts. Tony Marchant, a BAFTA-award winning writer, he penned a beautiful script. The relationships are so real, the topic so relevant.”

Emmett is already busy on his next project as it was recently announced he has joined the cast of the BBC’s hit period crime drama, Peaky Blinders, along with The Hunger Games star Sam Claflin. Returning cast members include Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory and Paul Anderson. The series will move from BBC Two to BBC One for its fifth series next year.

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By order of the Peaky fookin Blinders…

A post shared by Emmett J. Scanlan (@scandalous_13) on

Butterfly concludes next Sunday 28th October at 9:00pm on ITV