ARJO ATAYDE Praised for “NUANCED” AUTISTIC ACTING in “GENERAL’S DAUGHTER”

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While “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” still remains the king in the lineup of ABS-CBN’s primetime tele-serye, the other shows that follow it on weekday mornings are no slouch either. Immediately following the police drama is a military thriller involving a rogue general’s obsessive ambition with installing himself as a national tyrant, and the efforts of the disgraced army officer whom he raised as a false daughter, to stop him.

“The General’s Daughter” starring Angel Locsin is two weeks away from finishing, but the high stakes have got viewers riveted and emotional. One massive tearjerker in these home-stretched episodes has been the death of two supporting characters, one of which along with the actor is now being lauded for positive autistic portrayal.

According to Inquirer.net, the Autism Society of the Philippines have been singularly impressed with “The General’s Daughter” actor Arjo Atayde, who portrayed the autistic Elai, daughter of former fishing village resident Sabel (Maricel Soriano). Both characters served as familial figures to main character Rhian (Angel Locsin), and Atayde’s characterization of Elai has been considered by the ASP to be both sensitive to the feelings of families with autistic relatives, as well as nuanced to show a range of personality and understanding beyond regular autistic stereotypes.

On their official Twitter page the ASP praised the degree of development the creative team of “The General’s Daughter” gave to Elai, and how he as interpreted by Atayde managed to steer clear of caricaturing the autism condition. For reference they accompanied the tweet with an image still from the series episode “Napahamak,” wherein Elai starts weeping as he slowly realizes that his father (played by Emilio Garcia) who was shot by an unknown attacker, has passed away after Elai’s initial admonitions to wake up.

Arjo Atayde himself was quick to respond to the positive review by the Autistic Society of the Philippines in his Twitter. “I did not expect this! Many many thanks,” Atayde wrote. “It means a lot…it really does. Thank you, really.” This is perhaps the greatest positive feedback the Kapamilya talent has gotten for his acting, especially for a complexly interpreted character with a special condition. Fans of “The General’s Daughter” are bound to agree, along with feeling very sorrowful after Arjo’s Elai and Maricel Soriano’s Sabel were both later murdered in cold blood by Tirso Cruz III’s big bad Gen. Tiago, with three weeks left. “The General’s Daughter” has two weeks’ worth of episodes to air, every weekday on ABS-CBN.

Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News

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