Blind actor Adam Morse did his own stunts on the action-heavy Apple TV+ series “See” without using a cane or a guide dog.
“I spent a few days training with fight choreographers,” Morse, 31, told The Post from his London home.
“They were sensitive to me and said, ‘We’ve been told about your condition; we can do things very slowly and also we can let your double do it.’ And I said, ‘No, I want to do it.’ So we went through the steps, and at the end of the day, one of the choreographers came up to me and said, ‘I don’t want to be rude, but I don’t understand — can you see or not?’ Because I’m sword fighting as well as anybody else in the room with 20/20 sight. So, he was in a bit of disbelief. That’s what I thrive on: exceeding expectations.”
Morse joins Season 2 of “See,” premiering Aug 27 and set in a dystopian-yet-primitive future where most of humanity has lost their eyesight due to a virus. It follows warrior Baba Voss (Jason Momoa), who’s trying to protect his twin children from witch hunters and the ruthless Queen Kane (Sylvia Hoeks), since the twins have the ability to see, which is regarded as heresy in this world. Morse plays Frye, a witch hunter working with the Queen.
Morse, who’s also a director, writer, and producer, lost his vision in 2009 due to a rare mitochondrial disease. He was already working in Hollywood at the time, and it wasn’t clear if he would be able to continue.
“I definitely did have a very dark and pessimistic period where, for a moment, I gave up on everything I had been dreaming about doing, which was acting onscreen and making my own films,” he said. “So, it did take some time for me to re-adjust. It really was the start of my spiritual journey — losing my eyesight and accepting that it wasn’t a curse and it was my choice on how it would determine my future.
“I’ve been actively reprogramming myself every day mentally to be positive and strong and think about how my condition can elevate me as an artist, so that I can find the blessing in this situation and appreciate that I was being put on a new path.”
Morse, who also rides horses in “See” in addition to sword fighting, learns his lines by using a screen reader software. He attributes his proficiency at picking up the physical skills to his level of confidence.
“That’s so key in any task,” he said. “I really just had confidence in myself like I always have — barring that dark period when I was first diagnosed. And of course, trusting my own instincts. I have a pretty similar process as any other sighted actor in terms of learning my blocking and memorizing the movement and marks I have to hit throughout the scene. Where my process might be slightly different as a blind performer is that I sometimes have to feel out my marks to memorize them — rather than someone pointing them out, saying, ‘Over there.’ But, I only need to be told once.”
Ever since he lost his sight, his memory has improved, which also helps him act.
“The memory is a muscle, and the more you flex it and use it, train it, the better your recall is going to be,” he said. “Every day is a memory exercise. I can’t just see ‘Where did I put my drink down?’ or if I’m going somewhere, I can’t just look at Google Maps for directions. My mind maps things, and also [I make] vocal notes and mental notes. It really helps my recall. If I’m told something once, I’ll remember it. And that’s helped me in many aspects of my life, both personally and professionally.”
His role in “See” is his first time playing a blind character onscreen, and it might be his last, Morse said.
“To be honest, I am really not seeking out blind characters. In fact, on the contrary, my ambition as an actor is to take roles that people wouldn’t expect me to play and surprise everyone in how I can suspend an audience’s belief, whether it’s me behind the wheel of a car driving some gnarly car chase scenes, or running around a battlefield.
“The prospect of playing people so far removed from myself is the reason why I wanted to become an actor. And so that’s my goal — to become the first blind action hero.”
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