Kevin Valdez sees an opportunity with his autism.
One of the most touching aspects of Apple TV+’s Little Voice, it features a grown autistic brother to the lead character Bess (played by Brittany O’Grady). The brother-sister bond makes it an essential storyline to follow in this heartfelt series.
In playing Louie, Kevin Valdez auditioned and scored the role as the character. He molded the character to himself as it marks his on-screen debut for an actor.
Valdez told LRM Online he performed in many high school and church plays before he was cast into Little Voice. He has big dreams of acting and hopes it leverages more opportunities.
Here’s the short synopsis of the show:
A love letter to the diverse musicality of New York, Little Voice follows Bess King, a uniquely talented performer struggling to fulfill her dreams while navigating rejection, love, and complicated family issues. Featuring original music by Grammy and Tony Award nominees, Sara Bareilles, this is a story about finding your authentic voice—and the courage to use it.
The Apple TV+ series also stars Sean Teale and Colton Ryan. Jessie Nelson serves as the showrunner of the series.
LRM Online spoke with Kevin Valdez exclusively last week over the phone about his role, his dreams, and being recruited for this project.
Little Voice is now available to screen on Apple TV+ today.
Read the interview below and let us know what you think.
Gig Patta: I get this chance to talk to you. This is great. Kevin, I’ve watched Little Voice on Apple TV+. Why did you want to play Louie on this show?
Kevin Valdez: While I was at Future Explored, which is a film and media workshop that provides people with disabilities, potential job opportunities. This school director approached me out of the blue with this casting call that requires someone with autism to play the part of Louie. So I sent in an audition tape. Later, they like it so much that they had me do another audition on Skype. Then I flew over to New York, and I auditioned to them again.
When I checked out of the hotel to return home, I was informed that I got the part. It was so exciting too. I liked the end result. It’s almost like Louie was created with me specifically in mind, even though it’s my first major TV role. [Laughs] I don’t know how to like condense it down and make this story short. The story of how I got the role is so long. I don’t even know how to like shorten it down.
Gig Patta: Did you always want to go into acting?
Kevin Valdez: I’ve had an interest in acting ever since elementary school. I’ve been in a couple of local plays like Cinderella the Musical, Seussical the Musical and Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Cornerstone Community Church had its own art theater program. It’s a church here in Manteca, by the way. They cast me in a couple of roles. I played the ball by Teddy Brewster in my high school production of Arsenic and Old Lace. I was in the drama club for all four years of high school.
Gig Patta: Does acting come naturally for you in playing Louie, or was it difficult?
Kevin Valdez: For acting, it was natural for me. I’ve had a lot of experience. I know what’s going on. It’s such a great honor for finally partaking in a project this big.
Gig Patta: How was working alongside Brittany O’Grady? How did she treat you on set?
Kevin Valdez: It was really great. I was so impressed with her performance in all the different scenes we had together on the show. She was always nice and easy to get along with. She always made sure I was alright. Since then, we’ve kept in touch with each other on social media by reminding ourselves how impressive we were.
ALSO READ: Brittany O’Grady on the Lure of Sara Barreilles-Produced Apple TV+ Show Little Voice [Exclusive Interview]
Gig Patta: What was the best experience you had on this production?
Kevin Valdez: The best experience is to meet all of these different people on set. I love to interact with them. We get to know each other a little bit more and showcasing our talents with everybody especially since they’ve actually never seen me act before. Again, this is my professional acting debut.
That chance to be out on set and in production as far as shooting. All of this is such an honor. I’m sorry if this all gets repetitive. I can’t grasp this enough. My family is here with me. And they’re all super proud of me.
Gig Patta: It sounds like they do really love this and proud of you. That’s great. Louie, himself, likes a lot of Broadway shows. Can you relate to Louis with that part too?
Kevin Valdez: I’ve been to a couple of plays myself outside of New York. Prior to being cast, I’ve only been to New York once before. During that time, I only had time to attend one show. It was so hectic and busy that day. I barely had time to do anything.
Again, I had experienced being involved in the productions put on by my church. Doing these scenes from Hamilton was probably one of my favorite moments on set. Louie is the main focus. I love how my character is stealing the show with his changing portrayals for a brief moment. Everybody on set says that I was a marvelous performer. I got to give props to them on amazing they made me.
ALSO READ: Colton Ryan and Sean Teale Talk About Working on Apple TV+’s Little Voice [Exclusive Interview]
Gig Patta: Was it hard for you to do these Hamilton scenes and along with the singing?
Kevin Valdez: Nothing was hard. After a while, we’ve been filming something for a bit longer than that expected. My mind seems to delve off. I’m still committed to acting, but normally it delves off. Sometimes, I lose focus. But, I can composure and get back to what I was doing.
Gig Patta: Did you see Hamilton yet?
Kevin Valdez: Actually, I did. We got a couple of tickets during my stay in New York. I thought it was pretty cool.
Gig Patta: One more question with you, Kevin, what roles outside of Little Voice do you want to play in the future?
Kevin Valdez: I’ve been attracted to any type of movie. I would like to be a comical relief or a villain. I also enjoy doing an announcing role because I got a cool voice. Also, I’m into animation. I’m also committed to doing cartoon voices someday. It’s what interests me the most.
Gig Patta: Well, I think you did a great job on Little Voice. Your family is proud of you. Thank you for speaking with me.
Kevin Valdez: Thank you. I can’t express it enough.
Little Voice is now available to screen on Apple TV+ today.
Source: LRM Online Exclusive, Apple TV+