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Brendan Fraser says his autistic son has the ‘most joy of anyone I know’

Brendan Fraser has opened up about his son’s autism diagnosis and reflected on the joy and happiness it has brought him.

In a recent appearance on the Howard Stern Show, the Oscar nominee said he was “crestfallen” when he and his ex-wife Afton Smith first received son Griffin’s diagnosis when the child was “22 or 24 months” old.

Fraser said his first reaction was to try and find a “fix” for autism, but later decided he “wouldn’t have it any other way”.

The Whale star said that hearing the diagnosis was like being “hit with a baseball bat in the back of the side of the head”, adding: “This isn’t the way it’s supposed to turn out. You blame yourself and you think, ‘My genealogy’ or ‘I smoked weed in college’, you start blaming yourself over the reasons why.”

However, Fraser explained that his outlook on Griffin’s autism has changed over the years.

“This kid has the most joy on board of anyone I know, and he happens to be related to me as my son,” he said.

“I want to know what he thinks is so gut-burstingly funny all day long, in a genuine way, he’s cracking himself up. He loves to go for a ride in the car. It doesn’t matter where you’re taking him.”

The George of the Jungle star shares Griffin, who is now 20, with Smith, along with their other sons Holden, 18, and Leland, 16.

Speaking about their split in 2008, Fraser said: “I paid more attention to my professional life than my personal one. That’s just me.”

Leland Fraser, Brendan Fraser and Holden Fraser attend
Leland Fraser, Brendan Fraser and Holden Fraser attend

But when it comes to co-parenting Griffin, “all bets are off” between the former couple, Fraser added.

“Who cares what our problems are with each other? That doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’s under a white flag and we do anything and everything in support of this boy’s needs and his brothers’. That’s what I was able to commit to in the most meaningful way.”

Last year, speaking to Interview magazine, Fraser said that Griffin helped him connect with his character in The Whale.

He also reflected on his son’s autism and said that due to the “beauty of his spectrum”, Griffin “knows nothing of irony”.

“He doesn’t know what cynicism is,” the actor explained. “You can’t insult him. He can’t insult you. He’s the happiest person and is, in my life and many others, also the manifestation of love.”