REMEDY FOR STEREOTYPES
SPEAKING to star, Freddie Highmore (pictured) on a promotional visit to Sydney proved a rare experience: a young star of huge talent, seemingly devoid of ego, but with the kind of intelligence and empathy fans see translated on the screen in his role as autistic surgeon, Shaun Murphy.
Rather than a plot twist, the British actor sees the chance to explore a character beyond what is on the page; an opportunity to break down boundaries for those on the spectrum.
“It was about countering this stereotype that people with autism are somehow emotionless or devoid of empathy. [Creator] David Shore convinced me from the very beginning, and this is sad that it needs to be said, but Shaun wasn’t a stereotype and he’s a very warm human, who we’re going to see fall in love and make mistakes. In short, he’s a complex character and it was a challenge to build that out from the very beginning.”
Arriving at season two, we see Shaun face resistance when it comes to his proposed treatment of a homeless patient; while he’s still coming to terms with health crisis of his mentor, Dr Glassman (Richard Schiff).