The Umbrella Academy is a hit Netflix show based on the comics of the same name by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá. It tried to represent the experience of autism in Harlan, the child of Sir Hargreeves and his robotic wife Grace. But what about the real life actor playing Harlan, is he actually autistic?
Speculation about the Actor’s Diagnosis
Given the sensitive subject of autism, it is important to note that the actor playing Harlan, Justin H. Min, has not publicly said whether he is autistic or not. Therefore, any discussion on the matter is mere speculation.
Representation on Screen
Despite this, it is clear that Justin H. Min has been a valuable part of representing autism on screen. He truly brought Harlan to life, displaying the feelings and behaviors that are common to those living with autism.
Letting the Character Stand Alone
The most important thing however, is that Justin H. Min has allowed Harlan to stand on his own. His performance has not been about an actor portraying the “autistic experience” but rather, about a character with a unique personality.
Ultimately, whether or not Justin H. Min is autistic in real life, the representation of Harlan in The Umbrella Academy is an excellent example of how to depict autism in a meaningful way. It allows us to take a closer look at how autism affects someone and the complicated feelings and social issues they can experience.