Little Voice arrived on Apple TV+ on Friday. It features an autistic character Louie King, who was played by an actor who is on the autism spectrum, Kevin Valdez. The actor joined the show’s co-creator, Jessie Nelson, to explain why this was so important.
“He’s really similar to me,” Valdez says. “It’s almost like this role was made with me in mind”… Apple’s service has a show, See, that features a large cast of actors who are blind or low vision. “I was so pleased with how far we’ve come that Apple was so supportive of finding an autistic actor to play this role,” Nelson says. “This is a very different moment in history.” Increasingly, autistic actors are playing characters on the autism spectrum. And those characters are moving beyond the male autistic savant stereotype, says Arianna Esposito, director of lifespan services at Autism Speaks. Having a person with autism playing a role like Louie “really brings an authenticity to the character,” Esposito says.