The Ac­coun­tant gives Af­fleck new in­sight into autism

The Sun (Malaysia) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

BEN AF­FLECK said he found his lat­est role as a blunts­peak­ing ac­coun­tant and as­sas­sin re­fresh­ing after play­ing the tor­mented, weary su­per­hero Bat­man.

Af­fleck plays Chris­tian Wolff ( far right), a metic­u­lous math­e­mat­i­cal prob­lem solver who leads an iso­lated life due to autism in The Ac­coun­tant.

The film opened in cin­e­mas in Malaysia yes­ter­day.

As a book­keeper to crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tions, Wolff spe­cialises in find­ing miss­ing money and hunt­ing down the thieves.

In the ac­tion movie, Wolff has trou­ble com­mu­ni­cat­ing with peo­ple, often be­ing forth­right without be­ing emo­tional or con­fronta­tional, some­thing that Af­fleck said he re­searched ex­ten­sively, meet­ing with peo­ple liv­ing with autism.

“Some of the peo­ple I met and did re­search with were very blunt with me and there’s some­thing re­ally charm­ing about that,” he said.

“You’re just go­ing to get the truth from that per­son and it’s kind of win­ning in a way.

“There’s a lit­tle bit of that in Chris­tian. He sees no rea­son for so­cial niceties or to tell a white lie. He just tells the truth.”

Autism, for­mally known as autism spec­trum dis­or­der, can af­fect so­cial skills and may in­clude symp­toms such as repet­i­tive be­hav­iours, ex­treme re­sis­tance to changes in rou­tine, and some­times, ag­gres­sion or self-in­jury.

Ap­prox­i­mately one in 68 chil­dren in the United States had autism spec­trum dis­or­ders in 2012, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­tres for Disease Con­trol and Preven­tion.

De­spite be­ing a hit­man in the film, Af­fleck’s char­ac­ter is a sym­pa­thetic fig­ure, said Cyn­thia Ad­dai-Robin­son, who plays a govern­ment em­ployee track­ing Wolff’s crim­i­nal ties.

“When you’re watch­ing the ac­coun­tant, you are feel­ing for him and car­ing for him and are hope­ful for him, and that only works when you have a fully re­alised char­ac­ter,” she said.

This is the sec­ond lead role for Af­fleck this year after he took up Bat­man’s cape and cowl in Warner Bros’ Bat­man v Su­per­man: Dawn of Jus­tice and its up­com­ing ex­pand­ing su­per­hero fran­chise. – Reuters

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