dyslexia-Justin-Theroux“I think we need to tell stories that reflect our world.” – Justin Theroux

Justin Theroux is an actor, director, and Hollywood screenwriter of top grossing movies such as Iron Man 2 and Rock of Ages to his credit. He is also dyslexic and talking about it along with his fellow multi-talented actress, producer, businesswoman wife, Jennifer Aniston. Justin seems to have classic N-strengths and vivid personal memory. There are many successful dyslexic men and women in the acting and screenwriting field because of their ability to empathize and see people and events from multiple perspectives.

Justin was recently interviewed by Terri Gross for NPR (see below).

“I tested as dyslexic and I was an unfocused child, so I didn’t read a lot early on in my life, and don’t read that much now..The first time I was ever called on to read I could not…I made up a bellyache excuse and went down to the nurse and was like, “I gotta get out of here. This is not going to work out.” I remember calling my mom and being like, “I gotta go. We gotta get out of here. This is terrible.”

From another interview:

EDARIS: Why can’t Justin read?

THEROUX: It was a lot of that, getting up in front of the class and crying, crying, crying.

SEDARIS: Is that where your passion for stories and drawings came from?

THEROUX: I was pretty crafty from an early age.

SEDARIS: You did illustrations for both of my New York Times best sellers.

THEROUX: [laughs] … if anything can be said for the Waldorf School, it really did encourage creativity. I guess if I had stayed in that school, they would’ve eventually taught me how to read and do math.

SEDARIS: It’s funny, because you’re such a writer now, and there are so many writers in your family.

THEROUX: I know, but I’m not like those guys. They’re real writers. They write books. If I had to write long-form stuff with descriptions of rooms, it would be so boring for me. I like writing dialogue and jokes and situational stuff.

SEDARIS: So when you left the crafty school, what happened? When did you get into acting?

THEROUX: I just went to a bunch of different schools. I was always acting. I was doing after-school plays and stuff like that. But I wasn’t doing well in any of the schools, so by ninth or tenth grade, I ended up going to a boarding school. D.C. is a hard city to grow up in. I couldn’t find my footing there. Also, I got a late start academically, and I was dyslexic.

SEDARIS: Who were your influences growing
up? Did you watch any TV shows or movies?

THEROUX: I devoured TV—everything from Super Friends in the morning to Dukes of Hazzard and The Love Boat and Fantasy Island at night. I watched it all. There were only four channels, so you could actually consume all of television if you were good at changing the channel.