An actor from Croydon says there is a “light at the end of the tunnel” after he lost both his parents to cancer.

Stephen Stallone, an actor from Croydon, has dealt with many trials and tribulations during his life, yet has never given up his dream to become an actor.

He has had many career opportunities since his early twenties, such as working on Big Brother, working as a freelancer for MTV and worked as a film intern for the special effects team for the Harry Potter franchise.

Your Local Guardian: Stephen StalloneStephen Stallone (Image: stephen stallone)

As well as this, the talented individual is no stranger to working abroad, as he has taken international roles in Canada and Australia.

Now, Stephen is pursuing his career in the film and TV industry and has plans to move across the Atlantic to the USA with his partner and two-year-old child.

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Stephen told Your Local Guardian: “I was about 24 when I realised I wanted to get into acting.

“I have had some incredible career opportunities in my life, but after working in the theatre in central London, I knew this was the right career move for me.

“In my industry, it’s hard to make it unless you’re already established, or you have connections.

“But after everything that’s happened, I think I have accomplished quite a lot.

“I think moving to the US will open up so many more possibilities and opportunities to me – I’d love to work with production houses like Netflix and Apple.

“It’s quite an exciting time for me.”

Your Local Guardian: Stephen on setStephen on set (Image: stephen stallone)

Stephen, who currently lives in Walthamstow, but grew up in Croydon, says he had a “great experience” living in Croydon, filled with many friends and a loving family.

He said: “I loved my experience growing up – but I always knew I wanted more.

“Ultimately, I always wanted to move away anyway, so university was my opportunity to move out of the area.

“I'm primarily from a working class family, but my parents did the best they could do in terms of upbringing.

“My mum suffered from a lot of mental health issues as I was growing up, and I remember her being in and out of hospital a lot.

“My dad did the best he could do to deal with the situation – but I didn’t see him much as he would always have to work to provide for us.”

While Stephen was setting up his new life working in Canada during 2011, he received an email from his sister which said his mum was becoming ill.

Your Local Guardian: Stephen StalloneStephen Stallone (Image: Stephen Stallone)

Stephen explained: “My heart immediately sank - I was working as a freelancer for a new reality show, but I had a feeling that I had to come home.

“I decided to move back home, and during Christmas 2010 my mum became really poorly.

“I remember just kind of praying and saying ‘whatever happens, just look after her’”

In January 2011, Stephens mum passed away with cancer, and his dad was soon rushed into hospital for emergency treatment.

Stephen added: “At my mums funeral, I noticed my dad looking unwell, but I thought he was just dealing with the stress of losing mum.

“He was then rushed to hospital for emergency treatment in the spring of 2011, and we found out my dad had bowel cancer.

“I lost him to the disease in the summer.”

Although Stephen has faced many adversities during his life, he has not stopped focusing on his dream, and he wants others to know there is a “light at the end of the tunnel”, even during loss.

He added: “My parents were amazing – the bond I had with my mum was incredible, as well as with my sister.

“I just want others to know that life can move forward in a positive way after loss, even if it’s hard to see at the time.

“Losing my parents happened in a short period of time so it was very surreal, I was going through all of the motions at the same time and trying to process what happened.”