Skip to main content

Amazon’s As We See It Cast Share Their Personal Connections To The Series’ Neurodivergent Characters

One of Amazon Prime’s best new shows is As We See It, and it centers on three characters who have autism and are living together as they learn to navigate the world as young adults alongside an aide. The show has an authentic feel to it thanks to showrunner Jason Katims bringing neurodiverse writers, editors, and other members of the production to the crew along with casting three leads who are on the autism spectrum as well. CinemaBlend had a chance to speak with the main cast about their connections to the topics on the series. 

While it should be noted that each of the characters in As We See It are not inspired by the actors who portray them because they have experiences living their lives on the spectrum, they could draw from their personal experiences when playing their roles. Rick Glassman, who plays Jack on the series, opened up about starring in As We See It (also in the video above): 

I’m a goofy boy, a comedian and I do a lot of silly gaffs and a lot of people in my life have told me that they never know when I’m joking or being serious. I’ve always felt those two things aren’t mutually exclusive, but it’s gotten in the way of a lot of my personal relationships. But, I’m proud to have had those moments in my life when it was hard for me to make friends and to get in trouble here and there and have a lot of issues with schooling and my parents having to deal with that. To be able to use those things as something that got me a job and gives me tools to tell this story… proud I would say is a fair word to say for it.

Rick Glassman shared that in other circumstances he’s had to tell himself to not do things that would typically not be okay in other productions, but for As We See It, he felt like he didn’t have as much “shame” in who he is. Joe Mantegna, who plays Jack’s father on the show, expressed his own connection to the series:  

I’ve been in this business 50 plus years and you just don’t often run into this kind of material that’s so true and honest and a combination of comedy and tragedy and everything in between. And also being the parent of a daughter with Autism who is 34 years old now, I can safely say I’ve experienced that world and to me this is a very honest portrayal of what certain aspects of their world is like and yet all those people are very individual in their own way as they would be and I’m just very proud to be part of it.

During the series, Jack must come to terms with his father having cancer whilst navigating the everyday world. One of his roommates, Violet (played by Sue Ann Pien) is dealing with intense desires to get into dating as her aide and protective brother discourage it. Pien shared her thoughts on starring in As We See It

Violet is a character I don’t think anyone has seen yet because she’s so real, authentic and really fights for what she wants and this is one of the things I love about Jason’s writing on all of his shows. I’ve gotten the chance to watch Friday Night Lights and Parenthood and it’s a realistic situation. It’s like life. It’s [Violet] and her brother, but also the way he’s able to bring warmth and humor and real heart and soul into these people and these scenarios and situations. I hope people get to really enjoy the journey with each of us in a very realistic way.

Chris Pang, who plays her brother, following his high-profile role in Crazy Rich Asians had this to say: 

When you think about this series, there isn’t a huge premise behind it. We’re not saving the world or whatever, it’s not like it’s ‘one man’s journey’ – it’s just human stories. To bring a character to life who is just a regular guy and have that be entertaining, that’s something I’m super proud of and of course to represent the neurodivergent community.

It’s great to see more television representing the neurodivergent community after Netflix’s Love on the Spectrum brought us an Autism-focused dating show in 2019 and Big Brother’s Britini D'Angelo opened up about her journey last year. The entire first season of As We See It is available to watch with an Amazon Prime subscription

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.