Lauren Potter, famous for her role as cheerleader Becky on hit show Glee, sits down with us talking about how she views disability and the importance of portraying those with disabilities on the small and large screen.
Lauren has been a widespread advocate promoting equality being an appointed Ambassador for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 as well as being appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.
Why do you think it’s important to have people with disabilities in the acting world?
We all are different and we all have different abilities. I think it’s important to have people with different abilities in the TV shows and movies we watch, because that is the real world. It is a good thing to see people who are like you in the shows you watch.
Did/do you find any hardships with your job? How did you overcome them?
Now that Glee is over, it’s hard to find other roles. I’ve done a couple of TV shows and a small movie, but I want to work more, and that can be frustrating. I think that it’s hard for all actors, but I love acting, so I will keep trying!
What are your career and life aims?
I want to keep acting and finding amazing roles. Like everyone else, I want to find the right person to love and spend my life with. I want to keep living my life as independently as I can, and finding new adventures.
What would you say to anyone wanting to get into the acting industry yet are scared to because of their disability?
If acting is your dream, then go for it! You have to know that it is very hard work, and not easy, but if it is what you really want, then think positively and work hard to live that dream. You have to have the talent and you have to really want to do it! It also helps to have a lot of people cheering you on too. Don’t ever stop reaching for the stars!!
What do you think your character on Glee did for those with a disability?
I think my character Becky inspired them because she showed them that she was just like everyone else. She was spunky and funny, but she had the same fears and wants that the other kids did too. She also showed other people with disabilities that want to be actors that maybe it is possible!
What has been your proudest achievement?
I was so proud that I was appointed by President Obama to the Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. That was so amazing! I’m also so proud that I have been able to live my dream of being an actress, that I have been able to inspire other people showing them that having Down Syndrome isn’t a bad thing, and that I’m not much different than they are! We are all different, and that’s good!