Sunday, August 17, 2008

Actor says his dyslexia guided him into performing

A profile of actor Luke Ford, which focuses on his dyslexia, from the Canwest News Service in Canada:

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- When Luke Ford was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child in his native Australia, the last thing he expected was that it would launch him into an acting career and pave the way for a major role in a big Hollywood film like "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor."

In fact, this tall, handsome Aussie tends to take all the current buzz surrounding him with a grain of salt -- despite the fact that he's getting a major Tinseltown launching as Brendan Fraser's son in the latest instalment of the lucrative Mummy franchise.

Ford says he's not ready to deal with this kind of hype -- "I'm not really prepared at all" -- and is determined to assert his normalcy in the bluntest terms.

"If you get the chance to have a power, you use it for good, so I'll try my best . . . . But I'll also just go and live my life and see what happens."

By now he knows he thrives on challenge. When he learned he had dyslexia, he was told that one of the best ways of dealing with it was to make his brain work in new areas.

"So I went and tried to be a musician and that didn't work," he grins. Then he tried to become a painter and discovered he was pretty untalented in that area as well. "So then, I thought, 'All right, I'll do this drama class.' And they told me I was really good and I got an A -- and then the next thing they did was to drop drama in high school!"

Ford's response to that was to quit school and try to become an actor professionally. Television roles soon followed before he made it onto the big screen with a movie called "Cloner." But he says his real break came with his performance as a young victim of autism in the Australian film, "The Black Balloon," which went on to win this year's Crystal Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.