“The character of Sam just jumped off the page,” recalls Keir Gilchrist during our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above) about his new show “Atypical.” “I almost just kind of got who he was right away.” Gilchrist stars in this Netflix original series as Sam Gardner, an 18-year-old on the autism spectrum who decides he’s ready to have a girlfriend. The show also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michael Rapaport as his parents, Brigette Lundy-Paine as his younger sister, and Amy Okuda as his therapist and love interest.
The actor drew upon personal experience to portray Sam. “I had a little bit of insight through people in my own life,” he divulges. He was also given a book by creator Robia Rashid called “Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband.” He says of David Finch‘s memoir that “it was kind of the bible that we both went by. It really takes you inside the head of someone who’s on the spectrum.”
Gilchrist is known for his work in such films as “Dead Silence” (2007), “The Rocker” (2008), “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” (2010), “It Follows” (2014), and “The Stanford Prison Experiment” (2015). He also had a prominent supporting role in “The United States of Tara” starring Emmy winner Toni Collette as his mother. Will he receive his first Golden Globe nomination this year as Best TV Comedy/Musical Actor? Check out our full interview above for more about his work on “Atypical.”
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