Gay rugby star Gareth Thomas, who'll be
played by Mickey Rourke in an upcoming film, is scheduled to appear
on Tuesday's The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“Rugby player GARETH THOMAS broke new
ground when he became the first openly gay professional male athlete
… in the world!” the show said in announcing Thomas' appearance.
Actor Mickey Rourke has confirmed
rumors that he's considering playing the Welshman in an upcoming
to the UK's Wales on Sunday, Thomas' agent, ex-Saracens
winger Emanuele Palladino, has said filming could begin within the
next 12 months.
“Mickey intends to get as close to
the character as he can, as he thinks it is a great story,”
The 36-year-old Thomas first began
talking about his coming out in 2009. In
an interview with the UK's Daily Mail, he said he
had his first male encounter at the age of 18 and told his teammates
he was gay in 2006, shortly after divorcing his childhood sweetheart.
“I read the story,” Rourke
told the BBC's Alan Carr. “To be a man who plays rugby who is
gay and to live with that secret for the amount of years that Gareth
had, to perform at the high level that he performed at, it takes a
lot of courage.”