Interview with THE A WORD star TOMMIE GRABIEC, who appears as Pavel in the BBC Series. He discusses Season 2 developments, autism coverage and children with autism.
The A Word follows a family which has discovered that their 7-year-old boy (Joe) has autism. Family members in Season 1 knew there was a problem, but was blocked until his parents finally agreed to let Joe visit the doctor.
So who is Pavel in all this? “He is a dedicated worker at Scott’s Brewery, together with David (Adam Wittek). Eddie (Greg McHugh) has taken over from his father Maurice, which has caused a lot of stress mostly because of Eddie’s own inexperience.”
“At the beginning of Season Two, you will see Pavel hoping to gain a promotion. He wants this due to his expertise and dedication to his employer. He has a family to look after and has ambition.”
Season Two will show Joe (acted by Max Vento) struggling to adapt to the word autistic. He can’t understand it and just feels different. His family is hoping to show Joe who he is. “The audience will get to find out how the Scott and Hughes family deal with Joe’s autism and their own problems.”
It features a number of top names including Christopher Eccleston, Morven Christie and Lee Ingleby.
More recently The A Word was described as showing the autism spectrum topic in a very graceful, humorous and warm-hearted way. “I would like to commend the writing of Peter Bowker. He has expertly shown people who aren’t aware of autism, how autism affects the entire family. We visit the inside story with emotion and resolution to issues that arise.”
“There is an increase of autism diagnosis worldwide, so it was time to shed light on the affect it has. The A Word gives hope and encouragement to people with autistic children and shows that they aren’t alone.”
So what could Joe be feeling as a 7-year-old? “Children with autism live in a world of their own. They might be aware that they are different in themselves, but it’s more the reaction of people around them that is challenging. Joe is just Joe from his point of view."
Tommie Grabiec has starred in many short films over the years, including Battlescars, Prey For Me and Static. “It is about creating a character and then breathing life into that part. I give my full dedication to each production.”
“Difficulties in short films arise when there is a less experienced crew on hand. The A Word’s crew is one of the most professional and talented I have worked with.”
So what’s happening in 2018? “I have a wonderful agent here in Cincinnati (Heyman Talent). It is my intention to continue on with The A Word, as long as Pavel is part of the cast. Being in the show has given me motivation to continue forward as an actor.”