Portraying character with mental retardation

1 reply [Last post]

One of my kids is looking at a prose called "Special". The character is said to be "slow", innocent and likable. Im imagining Forest Gump. I was wondering if anybody has any suggestions on how to portray this, without going over the top, or looking like I'm making a mockery out of somebody. Thanks

That's a tricky situation. I don't have any personal experience, but I would think remembering to remain conscientious of the character as a person is needed. Don't try to play them as "slow" I guess is what I'm trying to say. Study some ticks that people with this character's mental handicap actually have, and incorporate them into the characterization to realistically portray the disability, but always play the character's actions as a truth. Don't treat them as being different from how you would portray any other character--aside from the behaviors and ticks common with that disability.

Maybe watch some performances of actors that have done well when handling similar roles? See how that balanced everything?

Here's a forum with some good advice: https://www.reddit.com/r/acting/comments/2licb8/how_can_i_sensitively_pl...

I hope that helps.

Post reply