Earlier this year we came out with a blog on 5 Actresses Who’ve Played Characters with Autism to spotlight the world premiere of Jane Wants a Boyfriend, a film focused on a young woman with Aspergers trying to find love in New York City. With that we wanted to follow this list up by looking at some of the actors who’ve portrayed characters with autism as well! Check out our list of 10 Films to Learn More About Autism to see what is out there for our community to enjoy!
Josh Hartnett (Mozart and The Whale)
Hartnett who is known for films such as Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor took one of his most impressive roles when he portrayed Donald Morton, a young adult with aspergers syndrome in Mozart and The Whale. Hartnett’s love interest in the film was another young adult on the Asperger syndrome portrayed by Radha Mitchell who was highlighted in 5 actresses who’ve played characters with autism here.
Hugh Dancy (Adam)
In 2009, Dancy gave one of his best acting performances when he took on the role of Adam in a romantic comedy also starring actress Rose Byrne. In the film Dancy shows several different dimensions of the transition to adulthood through transitioning to living alone (after Adam’s father dies) and finally, falling in love for the first time.
Max Burkholder (Parenthood)
Parenthood, which just had its series finale, lasted 6 seasons on NBC and focused on a show about several different families. One of these families featured actor Max Burkholder who played Max Braverman, a young boy with aspergers syndrome. His portrayal of Max was seen as one of the most realistic portrayals of someone with autism on television.
Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man)
Arguably the most well known autism related film of all time, Rain Man in 1988 won four Oscars including Best Actor for Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal of Raymond in the film, an adult with autism.
Thomas Horn (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)
Horn may not be a household name but after his performance in the film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close he definitely showed his amazing acting chops. Horn who plays a boy with Asperger’s syndrome goes on an adventure to solve his father’s final riddle after he died in the 9-11 attacks.
Lou Taylor Pucci (Story of Luke)
This indie film showed several different topics focused on adults with autism. Lou Taylor Pucci plays a young adult on the spectrum that needs to navigate the world around him in a film also starring actor Seth Green.
Dexter Darden (Joyful Noise)
Finally, the last character I wanted to share is Dexter Darden who played Walter Hill in the 2011 motion picture hit Joyful Noise starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton. In the film Darden plays a teenager with Asperger’s syndrome. Darden has followed his portrayal in this movie to start in the box-office hit Maze Runner and will be returning to his role in the sequel coming out later this year.