Thank you so much for your overwhelming response - your questions are full of such positive feedback, and insightful inquiries. (Of course they probably only show me the nice ones.) On behalf of myself and the entire cast and crew of Parenthood, we so appreciate and value your support and enthusiasm.
Q: How much prominence will Max's Asperger's maintain as the season progresses... and will a new one hopefully be created? Will it taper off, or do you consider this serial a platform for raising autism awareness?
I have a son with Asperger's, and my initial decision to include this story as part of the pilot was not so much to raise awareness, but to simply write about something that was very much on my mind every day. I have been surprised at how much this storyline has seemed to resonate with people, whether or not they have a direct connection to someone affected by autism. The fact that so many people have responded to the storyline and spoken out about how much it has helped to have their story heard has been incredibly rewarding to me.
Like all storylines in the show, there will be some weeks where the story is less or more prominent, but Max's story is one that will continue to be told for as long as the series continues.
Q: How does Max Burkholder get into character to play a child with Asperger's syndrome? He is brilliant!
I agree Max is wonderful. I thought instead of trying to answer for him, I would just forward the question to Max. Here's his response:
Hi Jason, that really means a lot to me that Elizabeth said that about me playing Max in Parenthood. I love playing Max Braverman!
First of all, the writing on Parenthood is so amazing that it helps me understand so much of what Max is feeling. As far as my preparation, I like to think about what Max would be doing and how he would react in the situations of the story. For instance, in the scene where I find out I have Asperger's and my parents are talking to me about it, I sat in my bed in my "set" bedroom and imagined feeling so alone because I was the only one in my family with Asperger's syndrome. Then when I go to shoot the scenes I am emotionally feeling what Max Braverman is. I try really hard to be accurate so that I can be respectful of the people who really do have Asperger's.
Thanks, Love, Max
I look forward to your questions and I will continue to answer as many as I can, as often as I can.
-Jason Katims, Executive Producer