Best-selling author and animal scientist Temple Grandin, well known for her work advancing the humane treatment of cattle, is again the focus of media attention as the subject of an upcoming HBO biopic, to be aired in February.
She’s played by actress Claire Danes (left, as Grandin).
Dr. Grandin has written and spoken widely about her life as a person with autism.
On NPR, Talk of the Nation’s Neal Conan conducts an extended interview with Grandin. “You may also know that she is autistic and spends a lot of her time explaining how that makes her different, not less,” he says. “You may not know how she avoided being institutionalized as a young girl, how she learned the social skills to engage the world, and how she overcame bullies, skeptics, ignorance, and her own fears to make a real difference in the world. An excerpt of the interview:
CONAN: And I wonder, did HBO get the story right?
Dr. GRANDIN: Yes, Claire Danes was just brilliant in playing me. The movie is all in the ’60s and the ’70s, when I was a lot more autistic acting and when I first started my work.
CONAN: There’s a picture of you on the Web standing next to Claire Danes at a premier, at the screening of this film in New York last night.
Dr. GRANDIN: Well, the thing was amazing is how Claire totally changed into me. You know, if you look at her from a picture from last night at party you’d never think that, you know, that she could become like me. I mean, shes just amazing, and how she totally turns into the character that she’s acting.
New York Times writer Rick Lyman interviews Claire Danes, and says she “manages to be both emotionally transparent and intelligently complex” in the role.
(Photos from New York Times)