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‘The A Word’ Looks At What It Takes To Tell An Autism Story

It takes incredible talent to play a boy with autism, and the upcoming SundanceTV drama may have found the right boy for the job.

Max Vento (Joe Hughes) and Morven Christie (Alison Hughes)

Max Vento (Joe Hughes) and Morven Christie (Alison Hughes)


An incredible amount of behind-the-scenes work goes into adding nuance to the stories that TV shows hope to tell. “The A Word” tells a multigenerational story of a family dealing with their son being diagnosed on the spectrum for autism, and its cast and crew are putting in a lot of thought to how they’re trying to do just that, highlighted in an IndieWire exclusive debut of two behind-the-scenes clips.

READ MORE: ‘Life, Animated’ Trailer: Young Boy Unable to Speak Finds Words in Disney Classics

The writing and direction of “The A Word” both drew the cast to the project and kept them engaged, and the location and design played central parts to enhancing the story’s drama. But the creators of the show also admit that they were “lucky” to find Max Vento for the role of the young boy with autism.

In the first clip, Morvin Christie, who plays the boy’s mother, Alison, was nervous about that role when she first encountered it, saying, “I remember when I first read the scripts thinking this is a lot to ask of a five or six year old child. This is going to be really challenging.” Once they found Vento, though, she couldn’t imagine anyone else in the role.

Writer/executive producer Peter Bowker, in addition to nearly every member of the cast and crew saying something, said that Vento “has a real natural presence on screen. He has an energy that’s right. He’s been remarkable.”

Check out the two clips for “The A Word” below. The show premieres July 13 on SundanceTV.

A general feature of the cast and crew, notably highlighting Max Vento.

The cast and crew discussing the location and design of the show’s shoot.

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