- Happy Dyslexic
Actors & people in the movie industry
Martin Nigel Davey: Actor and writer
"While acting as a teenager I was put off by people saying if you cannot read the script quickly you will never get a part , but glad to say I returned to the acting world at 30 and have met and worked with alot of talented people." - Martin Nigel Davey"Although Martin is slightly dyslexic this is not a weakness but his strength. He may take longer with the script but his characters once built are without exception totally believable and real. His strengths lie in improvising the scenes and characterisation. He is a joy to work with." - Ria Richardson, Director, Speech and Drama TeacherQ: "Many of the directors you have worked with have commented on your preference for improvisation, why do you find this approach works best for you, and how do you feel it enhances your performance?
A: On set the director is the boss - so I am guided by the way they want to work. Improvisation only works if it enhances the character or the scene. As I’m dyslexic I like to learn the role first then add the correct lines after I’ve got the character. This is why improvisation suits me a bit better and I have been fortunate that directors have been happy to support me with this approach." - Martin Nigel Davey
An interview with Martin Nigel Davey by David Stephenson, Rogue Cinema
"Dyslexia is not due to lack of intelligence, it's a lack of access. It's like, if you're dyslexic, you have all the information you need, but find it harder to process." - Orlando BloomQ: "You have talked before about your dyslexia, so how do you absorb such a full script as this?"
A: "The more you do it the easier it becomes. He has his own style of writing and music is incredibly important to him. It's all tied in with the music. I really just put myself in his hands...I am here to do the work and you are the guide and let's do it." -Orlando Bloom
InterviewQ: "Did you have any teenage insecurities?"
A: "I suppose my dyslexia. It made me feel like I wasn't smart enough. Some people are just brain boxes, but then in everyday [situations] they're clueless. I was street-smart -- I was always bright, but I found it harder in the classroom. Once I [passed] my exams, I felt better because I knew that I could do it if I applied myself." - Orlando Bloom
- Harry Andersen
- Fred Astaire: actor
- Joseph Asthon: actor
Joseph Ashton is an award winning actor who at 16 years old is already a veteran of television and films. Demonstrating an early affinity for sports and show biz. A decade-and-a-half later, the accomplished teenager is winning awards and accolades in both fields.
"I love being an actor, it is challenging and exciting." - Joseph Asthon, actor
- Michael Barrymore, British comedian and TV host.
- Harry Belafonte
- Richard Belzer: Actor, stand up comedian, writer. Biography. You can buy DVD's of and books by Richard Belzer at Amazon.com.
- George Burns
- Stephen J. Cannell: screenwriter, producer, director, and novel writer. Biography. You can buy DVD's, books and audio CD by Stephen J.Cannell at Amazon.com.
"Since I was the stupidest kid in my class, it never occurred to me to try and be perfect, so I've always been happy as a writer just to entertain myself. That's an easier place to start." - Stephen J. Cannell
"I am somebody who had a horrible academic experience and came out of that to be successful" - Stephen J. Cannell
"Failure in school does not mean failure in life." - Stephen J. Cannell
"I was the only kid in my first-grade class who couldn't read," said Cannell, who spends five hours a day writing. "But I can write a novel in three months." - Stephen J. Cannell
Article "Dyslexia Didn't Stop Famed TV Writer" by A. Gusterman, October 2001"The real fear that I have for dyslexic people is not that they have to struggle with jumbled input or that they can't spell, but that they will quit on themselves before they get out of school. Parents have to create victories whenever they can, whether it's music, sports or art. You want your dyslexic child to be able to say: "Yeah, reading's hard. But I have these other things that I can do." - Stephen J. Cannell.
Newsweek Interview on Dyslexia, November 1999The rise to the top was anything but a sure bet for the high school boy who flunked three grades because of his undiagnosed dyslexia and was told he would never realize his ambition of being a writer. With the inspiring words of a creative writing teacher, the support of his wife Marcia and the perseverance and dedication to a rigid work ethic that was to serve him so well in life, he spent 5 years honing his craft -- without selling a thing. But he was always confident that the opportunity would come.
"Well, I've wanted to be a novelist since I was 16 years old; it was my dream in high school to be a writer and novelist. In my high school yearbook under ambition it says "author." I always thought that being an author wasn't writing television scripts; it was writing books, but because of my learning disability -- my severe dyslexia -- I never really felt that I would be able to achieve that ambition. But it was my ambition." - Stephen j.Cannell
A Conversation With Stephen J. Cannell by Claire E. White
- Enrico Caruso
- Bill Cosby's brother and son
- Tom Cruise:
"I had to train myself to focus my attention. I became very visual and learned how to create mental images in order to comprehend what I read." - Tom Cruise, Dyslxiacenter
- Harrison Ford
- Zsa Zsa Gabor
- Danny Glover
- Kristian Digby: BBC presenter, director, public speaker
"Having problems with reading is no cause for shame." - Kristian Digby
Kristian Digby’s school reports said that he was “disabled when it came to reading” and the BBC daytime presenter’s headteacher told him his place in the dole queue was already guaranteed.
It was not until he was about to sit his GCSEs that one of the teachers at his Torquay school suggested that he could be dyslexic.
"I’d always been told I was stupid,” the 28-year-old said. “Teachers said I didn’t have any academic acumen. Once, in a verbal-reasoning lesson, the teacher repeatedly banged my head against the wall in frustration." - Kristian Digby. Article by Adi Bloom, 24 February 2006
"I think that generally in life it is not all about being a television presenter, a property guru, or a filmmaker. It is about putting out the effort. No one is going to do it for you. Everyone always says, ‘You are so lucky,’ but the funny thing is that the harder I work, the luckier I get. I think with any one, property investor or not, the more effort they put into it, the more they will get out of it." - Kristian Digby. Interview by Katie Bobb
- Patrick Dempsey: Biography
- Tracey Gold
- Woopi Goldberg: Biography
- Susan Hampshire
- Dustin Hoffman: actor
- Anthony Hopkins: actor
His childhood was "awful" - not because of any lack of parental love, but because he was so hopeless at school. He was a moody, lonely, only child whose main pleasure was playing the piano and whose father worried about him not being like other boys. He believes that success has made him a nicer person."I feel more responsive to other people because I'm not so insecure. I just feel reassured that I wasn't the moron I thought I was." - Anthony Hopkins"I think children can be very cruel especially in adolescence and if you are slow, and I was (I was in a school which was quite competitive) you do get a lot of slamming about from the other kids. I don't know about girls, but I know that boys are very cruel and very tough. It built up a tremendous resentment in me because I was also bad at sport and athletics and all I could do was play the piano. So I always got the sense in my adolescent years that 'Oh, Hopkins, you know he's, well he's not worth much, or he's a failure." - Anthony Hopkins, Educational Quotes
- Bob Hoskins
- Bob Jimenez (TV anchorman)
- Keira Knightley: Actrice
"I remember going in for an audition when I was 8, and it was the most excruciating experience because I couldn't read my lines. My desire to act was my driving force. I got really good help from some amazing teachers and my mother and father worked tirelessly with me, so by the time I was 11 I had kind of overcome the dyslexia and now it's not really a problem. I don't notice it anymore." - Keira Knightley. SFgate.com, September 2005Q: "How is the dyslexia now?" Thomas Leupp.
A: "It’s fine. I was called “stupid” a lot by many lovely kids at school, and that makes you pretty determined to learn to read and ride and figure out ways around it. So, I did." - Keira Knightley. JoBlo.com July 2003
- Jay Leno
- Brad Little
- Sarah Miles: actress, author and playwright
"I was expelled from four schools. Today I still read with difficulty." – Sarah Miles
- Steve McQueen
- Jack Nicholson
- Edward James Olmos
- Jill Pages: Trapeze Artist
- River Phoenix: singer and actor. Biography
- Oliver Reed: British actor
- Keanu Reeves: actor
"I was hopeless at high school - I failed everything but Latin." - Keanu
"To perform Shakespeare you get to say very profound words and in the body it feels more thrilling. Your spirit, your intellect, your heart and your voice. I have to say I prefer Shakespeare to the action stuff." - Keanu Reeves, Keanuweb.com quotes
Q: "When you were in high school, did you already have ambitions to get into acting?"
A: "Not really. I wanted to be a hockey player long before I ever thought of being an actor. I was pretty shy as a child. I didn't feel confident unless I was on the ice. I just did a few jobs for TV commercials to earn extra money for myself." - Reeves.
Q: How did you deal with high school?"
A: "I tried to avoid it as much as possible. Growing up, I had a lot of trouble reading (Reeves suffers from dyslexia - ED), and so I wasn't a good student at all. Eventually I got fed up and I didn't bother to finish high school. I thought it was a waste of time - at least for me it was." - Reeves.
Q: Did you feel like an outsider?"
A: "In a way, I guess. I always felt a bit alone and isolated from other people....I did a lot of pretending as a child. It was my way of coping with the fact that I didn't really feel like I fit in. But when I was 15, I started doing some acting and I got hooked because it was like hockey in that it allowed me to be somebody different. In acting, you can feel the sense of being part of an ensemble, a team. it's the same thing with sports. I loved the feeling of playing hockey and helping my team win. There's an acceptance that comes with team sports." - Reeves
Interview Feats Press"I've known Keanu since he was 13," says Erwin Stoff, the manager who has worked with him for nearly 20 years. "He was very bright, alive, unconventional. Even then he had that ability to totally immerse himself in something."
"Commitment" is a word that many involved in The Replacements use to describe Reeves' work ethic. "He wasn't one to shirk his responsibilities," recalls co-star Hackman. "There was a scene where he had to do some diving [Reeves' character scrapes barnacles off boats for a living] and come up out of the water. He must have done that take 20 times. And the water was very chilly. But he kept doing it without a complaint. A lot of guys wouldn't do that." - Keanu Reeves
Article Keanu Reeves: All the right moves" by Bob Makela. USA weekend.com August 2000
- George C. Scott
- Will Smith
- Tom Smothers
- Suzanne Somers
- Steven Spielberg
- Sylvester Stallone
- Daniel Stern
- Live Tyler
- Lindsay Wagner
- Muse Watson: Actor
"It’s been a career and an entire life of overcoming fears," - Muse Watson
He acknowledges his success has resulted despite a fear of being in front of people, a shyness compounded by dyslexia and depression after the death of his father at the age of six. "I Stared with a Truck", Berea College
Q: "I have also read that you are dyslexic. Do you have any special tricks then that help you to memorize your dialogue?"
A: "Yeah, I go to sleep with my lines playing on a tape machine that has a repeat function. I wake up totally off book. And when people send me scripts, my wife reads them and tells me whether I want to do them or not. LOL" - Muse Watson
Interview by Ownen Keelhnen
Q: "Any special tips on memorizing dialogue, hitting your marks, and getting into character?"
A: "Well, being dyslexic, I have always gone to bed with a tape recorder in my ear to learn lines. As for hitting your mark...pay attention. And as for character, everyone has their own tricks that they must develop. I use music. If I can find out what music my character listens to, I can play it in my trailer and instantly be transported into the midst of my research on the character." - Muse Watson
Inerview by Eric Spudic
- Robin Williams: Biography
- Henry Winkler (The Fonz):
- You can buy DVD's, posters and books about and by Henry Winkler at Amazon.com.
- Henry Winkler began writing a series of children books with his partner Lin Oliver. "Hank Zipzer", the World's Greatest Underachiever. The books are inspired by Henry’s struggle with dyslexia. The first eight books of the series are in bookstores now and have sold over a million copies nationwide. You can buy the stories of "Hank Zipzer" at Amazon.com.
"When I was in the fourth grade, my self-esteem was down around my ankles. And I couldn't read. It's still difficult for me to spell, to do math, so I always thought it was important to help young people understand that they were great just the way they were. Self-esteem is the beginning and the end of living." - Henry Winkler, USA Today"Somebody asked me if I could go back and start again with a different brain, would I. Years ago I thought yes, I would, and now I know I wouldn't. Because whatever challenges I had in school, I guess they forced me to where I am today. So I now see them as an asset." - Henry Winkler, USA Today."In school, I was an underachiever," he says. "Nobody ever knew why. I didn't know why. Until my stepson was diagnosed with dyslexia - I listened to them describe his symptoms and said, 'Oh my God, that's me!' Even during his time on Happy Days, the problem went undetected. The worst part for me was sitting around the table reading the script with the cast." - Henry Winkler
Article by Caroline Westbrook, September 2003"School was this immovable object," he recalls. "I was told I wasn't living up to my potential, that I was stupid. My parents, being short Germans, were convinced I was merely lazy. So I was grounded for most of my life. I did not see the moon during my junior year. When you are in the bottom of the class, you're constantly feeling less-than. You're always working overtime to achieve some sort of normalcy or cool factor, which I had none of.""Dyslexia taught me kindness," he says. "I know what it feels like to be treated like you're not up to snuff.""There's more than one way to Rome. There is more than one way to solve a problem. Ultimately, just because you learn differently doesn't n there isn't some kind of greatness in you." - Henry Winkler
Article "dyslexia taught me kindness" by Mimi Avins, Los Angels Time, nov 2005.