The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

22 February 2010

Is Manila still Mad?

By: Tiffany Tan

Actress Claire Danes was tapped in August 2008 to play Temple Grandin.

Temple Grandin’s life has been made into a biopic by HBO. Click here for more details on the film.

During a radio interview, Temple Grandin was quoted as saying Claire was “brilliant” in playing me. She totally changed into me. She totally turns into the character that she’s acting.” (Source: Talk of the Nation

During the filming of another movie, Broken Down Palace, some scenes were filmed in a dilapidated hospital in Manila. (Claire played an imprisoned American in Thailand for drug smuggling.)

In the 1998 interview with Premier Magazine, she was quoted as saying Manila “smelled of cockroaches, with rats all over, and that there is no sewerage system, and the people do not have anything - no arms, no legs, no eyes."

This triggered an outrage from Manila City Government and councilors passed a resolution to ban her movies indefinitely and demanded a public apology.

Claire has since apologized to the city and Filipino people, as only a reflection from the movie location site, and not as a general overview of Filipinos.

Husband and Wife Acting for Autism

Claire and husband Hugh Dancy

Interestingly, Claire’s husband, Hugh Dancy, also played an autistic person in the 2009 Sundance Winner, “Adam,” a story about a person with Aspergers finding love.

Click here to watch trailer

“Well, my husband played an autistic person six months before I did this, in Adam. So that was curious,” Claire hinted.

“But Temple is no ordinary autistic person. She’s a superstar, and she’s a pioneer, and the first person to write about it as somebody who has it. And that was radical. That was, kind of by definition, impossible, because they weren’t able to communicate with others. She managed to do that so well, and with such clarity. I think that’s what defines [the movie] for me.” (Source:

Turning on a new leaf

Personally, I think Claire Danes has already redeemed herself from the 1998 comment by accepting the role as Temple Grandin, and by her husband’s role in Adam.

I’m purely basing my sentiments on both the trailers alone. (It has been 12 years already!) Claire, you’re forgiven.

Still not convienced? Click here to Claire on the teaser.

Visit the ASP Library at Room 307 ML Bldg. #47 Kamias Rd. Quezon City or call us at 7-903-5496 to read books and videos on Temple Grandin.

1. The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger'
2. Emergence: Labeled Autistic
3. Autism on hidden epidemic
4. Understanding Autism

ASP library

Want to donate books and videos for the ASP Library, write us at or call us at 7-903-5496 for details.

Temple Grandin's biopic is not yet available in HBO Asia.


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