Netflix releases new film I Used To Be Famous with leading autistic actor Leo Long – National Autistic Society

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22 November 2022
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Published on 21 September 2022
On Friday 16th September 2022, Netflix released the film, I Used To Be Famous, which stars autistic actor, Leo Long.
The featured debut of Eddie Steinberg, is an adaption of his award-winning short film of the same title. It follows the story of Vince – played by Ed Skrein – who used to be in a chart-topping boy band, before finding himself alone and struggling. He forms a friendship with autistic drummer Stevie – portrayed by Leo Long – after an impromptu music jam on the streets of Peckham. Together, they form a special bond through the power of music.
 
Prior to making his screen debut in the role of Stevie, folk musician Leo Long performed with the London Youth Folk Ensemble and National Open Youth Orchestra. Diagnosed with a speech and language condition as well as autism spectrum condition, Leo Long has said he is determined to make the industry more ‘people-friendly’ for disabled musicians & actors. 
During an interview about his involvement in the film, Leo Long said to Netflix: ‘I am not a stereotype, I am a stand-up, neurodivergent actor.’ 
He added: ‘When I first read the script, I saw a tremendous opportunity for all disabled actors.’ 
The National Autistic Society provided advice and guidance throughout the production process for I Used To Be Famous. The charity developed the casting call for Leo Long’s character Stevie, which was distributed to National Autistic Society branches across the UK.
Also, the National Autistic Society’s job coach, Leo Capella, was instrumental in reviewing script drafts and providing feedback, to ensure autism was accurately represented on screen.
During an interview with Netflix, Leo Capella said:We talked with members of the crew around navigating the autism scene right and responsibly.’ 
Leo Capella also said:Representation on-screen matters and will lead to less fear around employing autistic people. The film is not a non-disabled person saving another disabled person which is brilliant.’ 
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