Nanaimo actor Jefferson Halliday is making his on-screen debut on See on Apple TV+. (Photo courtesy Ian Redd)

Visually impaired Vancouver Island actor cast in show about a future without sight

Jefferson Halliday makes his television debut today in new Apple TV+ series ‘See’

A visually impaired Nanaimo actor is making his on-screen debut in a new big-budget television series about a dystopian future where everyone has gone blind.

Jefferson Halliday, whose diabetic retinopathy limits his scope and clarity of vision, had only been taken acting classes for three years at Spotlight Academy when his coach Jacqui Kaese mentioned him to the casting director for See, a new program starring Jason Momoa of Aquaman and Game of Thrones fame, which launches with Apple’s new television service, Apple TV+.

RELATED: Jason Momoa, Vancouver Island, co-star in new TV series ‘See’

He sent his audition tape in last November, two days later got the part of a courtier – in the world of See humanity has returned to a primitive state – and a within the week he was in Vancouver getting fitted for costumes and prosthetics. Filming was done outside Campbell River and Halliday was on set from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, 2018.

Halliday said it was fascinating that the casting director for See was seeking visually impaired actors to play the role of visually impaired people. He said opportunities for visually impaired actors are “not great.”

“Maybe because people are afraid and they don’t understand what the actor needs and of course everybody’s visual impairment is slightly different in how they deal with it and what actually is wrong,” he said. “Because only a small percentage of visually impaired people are completely blind.”

Just seeing the casting notice mention visually impaired people was a “wow moment” he said.

“I’d looked at Vancouver Actor’s Guide audition listings and stuff like that and never had I seen a specific request for any sort of disability,” Halliday said. “So that was kind of amazing and just the fact that they wanted to add actually visually impaired and totally blind people to the cast was pretty impressive.”

Halliday said he met some interesting people on set, including blind Paralympic swimmer Donovan Tildesley, and at night at the pub over dinner the visually impaired castmates would have “conversations you can only have with other people that are visually impaired or share a similar handicap.”

“Like reactions of other people and how sometimes I’ve got the stick out and I can’t see much and somebody will start talking loud at me,” he said. “Like, I’m not deaf, my hearing is perfectly fine. And we’ve all had that.”

RELATED: Actor from Salt Spring Island to appear on ‘Chesapeake Shores’

Halliday said it was interesting to observe how it takes hundreds of people all doing their part to put a major television production together. He said being on set was “the only place I’ve worked where I think everybody else wanted to be there.”

“Every other place I’ve worked there’s always that group: They hate the place, they hate the people, they don’t want to be there. I saw none of that when I was there,” he said. “And it’s so much fun I really want to do that again.”

Apple TV+ launches on Nov. 1.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Vancouver Island man guilty of California murder cold case

Jury rules Shawnigan Lake’s Anthony Kubica killed wealthy Palm Springs senior in 1990

Victim of downtown Courtenay assault dies from injuries

Person of interest identified by RCMP

‘Actors can play any roles’: Debate over ‘colour-blind’ casting after Victoria lawsuit

Tenyjah Indra McKenna filed a complaint over racially-motivated casting

Talks between Western Forest Products and union break down

No more negotiations imminent between United Steelworkers 1-1937 and company

Farmers worry about future of water in Vancouver Island watershed

Some water licences restricted for first time last summer in Cowichan Valley’s Koksilah region

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

One person hurt in rollover crash on Nanaimo Parkway

Accident happened a little after noon in southbound lanes near Cedar Road

Federal laws at heart of West’s anger up for debate, as Liberals begin outreach

Vancouver mayor to Trudeau’s western critics: ‘Get over yourselves’

Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011

Teen developed ‘popcorn lung’ due to vaping: Ontario doctors

Boy went from being in perfect health to being on life support after just five months

B.C. judge tosses ‘N’ driver’s claim he was just using phone to decline his mom’s call

Distracted driving laws are more strict for Class 7, or Novice drivers, the judge noted

Woman calls 911 to say she was late for train, asks Ontario police for ‘emergency ride’

Peel Regional Police received more than 180,000 improper calls so far this year

Saanich mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

It could take you 218 years to save up for a house in this B.C. neighbourhood

It would take 27 years in the most affordable city in the Lower Mainland

Most Read