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“Atypical” star Keir Gilchrist is looking forward to audiences seeing more actors who are on the spectrum in Season 3 of the show, after the series addressed early criticism that it lacked representation of people living with autism.
Gilchrist said creators of the show took the feedback to heart, hiring more actors on the spectrum to play both autistic characters as well as your run-of-the-mill “neurotypical” teenagers.
“There are actually quite a few actors sprinkled throughout the show who are on the spectrum,” Gilchrist told TheWrap. “It was super cool to have them on set.”
“You get really jaded,” he said, “It kind of reinvigorated my excitement about what we do.”
Created by Robia Rashid, “Atypical” revolves around Sam Gardner (Gilchrist), a “highly-functioning” 18 year-old living with autism. The series has been lauded for its unflinching portrayal of life on the spectrum and the affect it has on family and loved ones.
Perhaps the one criticism came from members the adult autistic community, who thought the show was playing into stereotypes.
During the show’s first season, creators hired Michelle Dean, an assistant professor of special education at California State University Channel Islands as its consultant. For Season 2, the show added autistic author David Finch to make sure Gilchrist and the rest of the cast got it just right.
Finch came on board after he heard that Gilchrist used his memoir about life on the spectrum as his “bible.”
“He actually contracted me, saying, ‘I had no idea that you used my book,'” Gilchrist said of Finch. “Next thing we knew, he was on our season, consulting on all the scripts… If we’re unsure about something we can call up and ask questions.”
Finch, it seems, was just what the doctor ordered. Last month Netflix announced it was ordering a 10-episode third season, in which Sam heads to college.
Actors are notoriously tight-lipped about any upcoming plot twists. But here’s what we were able to extract from Gilchrist during out sit-down.
Will Casey and Izzie get together in Atypical season 3?
“I don’t know if I can say that… but if you’ve seen the season the chemistry is pretty huge right there… My guess would be that they might have some romance going on in Season 3.”
What happens to Casey’s boyfriend Evan?
“I don’t really know what’s going to happen but I think everybody is kind of rooting for her and Izzy.”
Will Sam find a new therapist?
“I don’t know if he’ll find a new therapist But i don’t think he’ll be going back to Julia though, to be honest.”
And just to be sure we put him on the spot we also tested his knowledge of penguins. See Gilchrist’s interview above and our penguin rapid fire questions below.