01 August 2020 00:42
Tom and Laura have opened up on raising their autistic child (Picture: Instagram) Tom Hopper and his wife Laura have opened up on raising his five-year-old son Freddie, who is autistic. The couple have been vocal in raising awareness of their son's condition, sharing posts to their social media accounts detailing their experience, as they hope to help other parents in similar situations. Speaking to People about the help they are offering, Tom explained: 'You have to trust each other and the journey. Tom, 35, and Laura, 32, first noticed something different about Freddie when he was around 18 months old, and they received his autism diagnosis just before his birthday in March. 'The first thing we noticed was Freddie wouldn't turn around for his name,' Laura said.
Laura added that it was important she and her husband were able to 'recognise the regression', as they then turned to researching autism, before later realising that not all children who have it are alike. Tom and Laura have shared Freddie's diagnosis on social media to raise awareness (Picture: Instagram) Tom continued: 'The biggest thing for us was learning Freddie. The Umbrella Academy star added that he and Laura later decided to eliminate processed sugars from Freddie's diet, which they believe has helped to control his behaviour, calling the difference 'massive'. Tom and Laura had confirmed their son's diagnosis in a video shared to Instagram earlier this year, with Laura saying: 'We've known that Freddie is different for quite a while, some people would say superhuman, and others would say autistic. 'Basically we want to raise awareness for people like Freddie, or parents.' The Man About Town cover star on returning as a superhero in the second season of Netflix's The Umbrella Academy.
It's appropriate, then, that his path has led him here — to a series that's as much about family as it is about fantasy. Ahead of the release of season two, we caught up with the actor to talk about what's in store. (LEFT) Jacket KENT & CURWEN, t-shirt SUNSPEL, trousers TOD'S, belt HERMES, boots MANOLO BLAHNIK Jacket KENT & CURWEN, t-shirt SUNSPEL, trousers TOD'S, belt HERMES, boots MANOLO BLAHNIK (MIDDLE) All clothing BOSS Vest PRINGLE OF SCOTLAND, jeans LEVI'S, necklace SINUM At first people wanted to know whether we'd be coming back as the kids, which has probably been squashed now as everyone has seen the trailer and knows that we're adults in the 1960s… But if I were in their shoes, I'd want to make sure that all the things I loved about the first season — the family dynamics and comedic elements — were taken further. I've seen the whole season now and it's in great shape. The last season ended on a pretty big cliffhanger — and a lot of destruction. Yes. Luther is carrying a lot of guilt, but that doesn't come to fruition until a couple of episodes in. It's something that he's been holding onto, along with the guilt of being power hungry and feeling like he needs to be number one. At the beginning of season two, for the first time ever, he's without the structure of The Academy. But one thing Luther realises is that there's a difference between the family element of The Academy and The Academy itself, and ultimately it's the family element that he wants. When he starts to realise that the rest of them are actually there, it's a weird shift for him to think about whether he actually wants that. He's not sure whether he actually wants to be part of saving the world anymore… A lot of that is to do with feeling like he screwed up; he's emotionally scarred. That's the thing with Luther — he's a big dude and on the outside he looks like a tough, impressive guy, but actually he's quite sensitive. I think it's clear — at least from this interview — that you're a totally different person to Luther. Is it ever taxing to have to play someone so different to yourself, someone that's very troubled? I feel like I'm relatively good at turning on the acting switch. I know a lot of actors who struggle with switching off their character. He is very different to me in a lot of ways, but I do feel that Luther is a bit like my past self, certainly my teenage self. I went through a lot of things like body dysmorphia; I didn't feel like the way I looked on the outside. But I have to dial that right up because Luther is an emotional guy, which I'm not. I bottle things up inside as opposed to letting them out like he does. That's not something that I can access easily as Tom, but with Luther I can tap into it. But the only thing I associate with Luther and The Academy is that I know what it's like to be a sibling, and I know what sibling rivalry is like. They're probably just as close as Luther and Allison are, it just comes across with a lot of bravado so they end up fighting. T-shirt DAVE CAROLL, trousers KING & TUCKFIELD, belt GRENSON, shoes SALVATORE FERRAGAMO Jacket and jeans PAUL SMITH, t-shirt SUNSPEL, scarf HERMES I like to think that I lead by example, but Luther can be quite bullheaded. He feels like he's got to make his stamp as number one, and I don't always agree with his moves from a moral standpoint. It's quite interesting to see how your own moral compass comes into play sometimes. When Steve Blackburn, our amazing showrunner, talked me through Luther's physicality, he said: "I'd like you to get as big as you can." He was planning to put prosthetics on top of my own body, so I started hitting the food and the weights really hard. When you got back to filming, what was the dynamic like on set? We're very fortunate on our set because everyone is willing to play around and have fun, from the cast to the crew. We're encouraged to be playful because that's the kind of show The Umbrella Academy is. That's when things really start to evolve. You might end up doing the same thing for five takes, but then out of nowhere he'll just throw a completely different line at you. It's almost like he's trying to make you laugh, which definitely keeps me on my toes. We decided to launch it because we wanted to try and educate people about certain things that they might not be exposed to. If people can see themselves in these larger than life characters, through the scenarios that those characters are put in, you can really feel like you're on a fantasy journey with them. That's what was so appealing about The Umbrella Academy: the superhero element almost feels like an afterthought. Obviously the podcast has been taking up a lot of my time, but I also did a couple of movies last year which will be out soon. It's a new side of the business that I'm really enjoying, one that also gives you a certain element of control, which you don't always have as an actor. Actor Tom Hopper and his wife Laura decided to speak about their son so that other parents "going through this... Although he frequently plays hard-bodied tough guys onscreen, at home, British actor Tom Hopper is all "soft inside" as a loving husband to wife Laura and father to daughter Truly Rose, 2, and son Freddie, 5. Recently, the Game of Thrones alum and Laura, an actress and writer, decided to open up about their son Freddie, who is nonverbal, after receiving his autism diagnosis just before his fifth birthday in March. "We thought, we've got to do this for the parents that are going through this so they don't feel alone," Tom, 35, tells PEOPLE in the latest issue. Tom and Laura first noticed their son was different at around 18 months. "The first thing we noticed was Freddie wouldn't turn around for his name," recalls Laura, 32. Image zoom The Hoppers (clockwise from left: Freddie, Tom, Laura and Truly) "The biggest thing for us was learning Freddie," says Tom. "We took Freddie off sugar, apart from certain fruits and honey," says Tom. Tom says Freddie reminds him to take joy from simple pleasures like "laughing, running" and "playing in the garden," he says. She's going to walk all over Tom when she gets older." Watch Tom in the new season of The Umbrella Academy, now streaming on Netflix.