Director Jacob Chase turned to his producer as he was casting the role of Oliver in the film and asked if he knew of any child actor who could pull off the challenging role – and the legendary director knew just the boy.
Chase cast Robertson after Spielberg introduced him at an audition and the filmmaker tasked the kid with studying up on the role by spending time with children who are on the spectrum and studying for the role by watching classic horror tale Poltergeist with his father.
The youngster also worked with movement and speech coaches to ensure accuracy in his performance.
Chase is more than impressed with his young star’s performance in the film, which is released on Friday (October 30, 2020).
“You can read so much from his eyes, especially for a character that doesn’t talk,” he tells WENN. “I couldn’t have asked for a better actor to play Oliver. It’s about a kid with autism, and most movies don’t have a main character who has autism. We worked out a sliding scale breathing exercise to illustrate Oliver’s reaction when upset. One is mildly calm breathing. Five is pretty stressed. Seven is really, really stressed, and so on.”