In “The Accountant,” Ben Affleck plays a CPA on the autism spectrum with mad math skills and even madder martial arts skills. It is an exceptionally entertaining thriller with some deliciously surprising twists right up until the last second. In an interview, director Gavin O’Connor talked about blurring the lines of genre and the research he and Affleck did to explore the world of non-neuro-typicals.
Like your last film, the underrated “Warriors,” this one straddles genres and focuses on family relationships — fathers, brothers.
Being a dad is like there’s nothing more important. So the exploration of that in stories, with parents and fathers and brothers, siblings, I just think that you’re always in the terrain of love, whether it’s absence of love or the giving of love or the desire for love. There is nothing more powerful than love so I just like living in that very fertile kind of terrain.
How did you and Ben Affleck develop the Christian Wolff character?
“You can’t show up on day one and play someone with autism. It’s going to require a lot of work and a lot of research and I just need to know right before we do this together I need to get you committed to doing that because it’s really important. And he did, he was unbelievable. We went on a journey together because I said, “Look, I am going to do this with you. We’re going to do it together because I need to know it too. We all have people on the spectrum in our lives but the thing that Ben and I agreed on was, “Let’s go in like we know nothing. We’re like a blank canvas and let everyone start painting on the canvas for us.” And that’s how we approached it.
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