'As We See It' Stars Joe Mantegna, Rick Glassman Bring Complicated Family Dynamic to Life in Amazon Prime Series (Exclusive)

On the new Amazon show As We See It, Jack — played by Rick Glassman — is stuck and grappling with a workplace that doesn't quite understand him, roommates that he doesn't particularly like, and a father he struggles to communicate with successfully. In a world set up to cater to neurotypical people, Jack finds that his autism can make relationships more complex to navigate. In an interview with PopCulture.com, Glassman, who is on the autism spectrum, explained that this was deeply relatable to him

"When I was a kid, in real life, I had a lot of obstacles with seeing different therapists, different medications, having to go to special classes, having to go to special schools," Glassman said. "I hated it because I was embarrassed and I didn't want my friends to know where I was, et cetera."

Everything comes crashing in around Jack when his father Lou — played by Joe Mantegna — gets a scary health diagnosis, which made Glassman examine his own relationships with his parents. "With a combination of going through the show and seeing this subject matter, but also being an adult and coming into some more awareness recently, I'm watching some of the stuff that Joe's character Lou is going through, and I didn't even realize it until this show that, wow, that was really hard on my parents," Glassman admitted. "I was really hard on my parents, and it helped me connect as an actor because you want to do this stuff right. But there was some reliving going through it, and Joe is very much like my father in real life, too."

Despite the heavy elements of their storyline, Glassman and Mantegna get a brief moment of hilarity when their characters eat edibles together, leading to joyful hijinks. "It's a reflection of what life is like," Mantegna told PopCulture.com about the scene. "Even what can arguably be a very dark moment, you have to find that ray of sunshine in the darkness, you know what I mean?"

Mantegna, whose daughter is autistic, loved digging into the parent-child relationship in As We See It. "For me, it's just a testament to the quality of the writing. The writing is good in that way that it can take you from this one kind of thing, and flip it over and take it to another direction," Mantegna said. "So we're balancing what could be a serious kind of situation with a certain amount of humor. Being a parent, which I am of a 34-year-old daughter with autism, there's so much that I can personally relate to all of this. It's true to form, and so it's easy to act when the material is honest." 

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The first season of As We See It is available to stream on Amazon on Jan. 21.