• Hugo Weaving and his nephew Ky Greenwood team up for a video about living with autism. (Facebook, LiveLab)
It's an issue close to the actor's heart.
By
Alyssa Braithwaite

22 Aug 2016 - 11:32 AM  UPDATED 22 Aug 2016 - 11:37 AM

Australian actor Hugo Weaving has a long and decorated career in front of the camera, but his latest starring role may be his most personal yet.

Weaving has teamed up with his 16 year old nephew Ky Greenwood for a short film about living with autism in 'Ky's Story'.

Greenwood was born with autism and has faced challenges in his daily life since he was a little boy.

"Approximately one child in every hundred is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD," Weaving says in the video.

"People with autism face challenges in three main area: communication, social interaction and behaviour. It doesn't matter what colour your skin is, where you live, or whether you're rich or poor, autism doesn't discriminate. Although boys are around four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls."

Weaving recounts a story from when Greenwood was a little boy and his mother Nicolle was criticised by strangers at a supermarket for not controlling her "unruly" son.

"As Ky gets older he'll face the big stuff we all do - figuring out who he is, finding a job, falling in love," says Weaving. "But for anyone with autism, these things can be harder. Romance will require patience and a special acceptance, as Ky finds it hard to show how he feels. But he does feel, the same as me, the same as you. Ky's life and the lives of millions of others with autism, can be made easier with a little more awareness, understanding and friendship." 

The star of the Matrix films, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and more recently The Dressmaker, told media at the launch of the video he hoped it would make a difference.

"The reason I got involved was because of family connections," Weaving said.

"It's always wonderful for me to come and spend time with the family, so to be involved with something which is to do with family and also which is of great benefit, not only to Ky but anyone living with autism and families dealing with the issues that goes with it, is wonderful and something that was very easy to say yes to."

Greenwood told the Gold Coast Bulletin he hoped "people will understand me now - that I'm different to everyone else."

Sentis developed the animation in collaboration with the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation, Autism Queensland, Griffith University Film School, Hotel Lima and the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service and the Queensland health minister will recommend it be shown in schools across the state.

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