Actress Talia Grant on her new role in Hollyoaks: 'It’s exciting to show one representation of autism'
HOLLYOAKS' ACTRESS TALIA GRANT AND MUM CARRIE GRANT TALK ABOUT LIFE WITH AUTISM
Talia Grant has become the first autistic actress to star in a mainstream drama as she joins the cast of Hollyoaks and joined us to talk about living and working with autism.
'It was [incredible] when I got offered the part. It was an open audition that they advertised on social media. My godsister told me about it,' Talia said. 'I feel like my character is not exactly like how I am. There are some ways she’s different. It’s exciting to show one representation of autism for the people out there.'
Of being diagnosed, her mum, vocal coach Carrie Grant, said: 'Talia doesn’t have any learning difficulties, so she flies under the radar. She’ll sit in class, she’s quiet, she hits all the targets academically, but inside there’s a whole world of anxiety going on.
'It was through Talia’s younger sister, we began to see differences. She’s about four years younger, Imogen. We thought, hang on a minute, there’s something a bit different here. We got Imogen tested and we thought we probably need to get Talia tested as she was suffering real anxiety at school.'
Talia added: 'I had to sit on the same chair [at dinner], have a special plate… I can’t even eat pie, with the fruit mixing.'
'When I tell someone I have autism they’ll say, "No you don’t", because they have their own idea of it. I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know that I had autism. When I did find out I didn’t know what that meant. I knew I felt different, but I didn’t really know what about me felt different. I felt out of it, the odd one out. It makes a lot of sense now.'
Carrie, who has Crohn’s and four children with special needs with husband David Grant, said, 'I think like anything, anything you go through in life - we’ve all gone through stuff - the first little while is difficult because you’re adjusting. But I think once you adjust, I go from kind of, ‘I can accept this’ and then I want to push past that to, ‘I want to celebrate this!’ I want my children to be just like they are. If someone came along and said there’s a special tablet that takes away Talia’s autism, I’d say forget it, she’s amazing, she’s the actress she is on Hollyoaks because of it.'
Watch the video to see the full chat with Talia and Carrie.