Disability Defying Journey Of The Actor Eric Graise

Eric was born in Atlanta with a congenital condition that left him without Fibulas in both legs.

Can you imagine having your legs amputated when you are just a year old? It’s scary, right, but it was the harsh reality for a brilliant actor, Eric Graise.

While most of us will be consumed by the fear, the same can’t be said about Eric.

Even after having such great hurdles, he has kept his positive attitude and is making a name for himself in Hollywood.

In fact, his portrayal of Bob Exely in the critically acclaimed series Tracker can fail some big names in Hollywood.

Key Takeaways

  • Eric lost both of his legs when he was just a year old because he suffered from a condition called fibular hemimelia.
  • Graise was inspired to dance by the show So You Think You Can Dance, and later, he joined his muse, The Full Radius Dance Company.
  • Eric wants Hollywood to represent Disabled people in the correct way, and he wants to play a role in a superhero movie.

Eric was born in Atlanta with a congenital condition that left him without Fibulas in both legs. The condition that he was suffering was called fibular hemimelia.

One can only imagine what his thoughts might have been after facing the cruel truth.

Amidst the darkness, Eric discovered his love for performing arts. Actually, during his school days, he took part in every acting, singing, and dancing class.

Besides all of the arts, he was more interested in dancing. Why so?

Well, while growing up, he was a huge fan of a dancing show named So You Think You Can Dance.

After developing a passion for dancing, he encountered a group named The Full Radius Dance Company one day.

In that company, both disabled and non-disabled people coordinated to bring their best dance performances to the stage.

This incident made him realize that limitations are nothing but mental barriers waiting to be shattered.

With his newfound passion, he enrolled at the University of West Georgia with the aim of earning a bachelor’s degree in theatre.

He was a two-time finalist at the Kennedy Centre American College Theatre Festival during his university years.

Now, with some experience and a degree, he sought an internship at the place where he got inspired: The Full Radius Dance Company.

But he didn’t stop at that.

Later on, he went on to play roles at some of the great shows like Step Up: High Water, The Walking Dead, Locke and Key, and Queer as Folk.

Difficulty Eric Graise Faced In Hollywood

Back in 2018, Eric gave an interview to the popular magazine Today in which he expressed his dissatisfaction with how Hollywood represents the disabled people.

While explaining the issue, he said:

We need to be more inclusive. You need to see people with disabilities reflected everywhere, but especially in arts and entertainment.

In the same interview, he revealed that he doesn’t want to be inspired by people. According to him, it takes away from the effort that he has put in until now.

The talented writer further added:

Because what they are usually really saying is, ‘If you can do that, then I have no excuse.’ It is more about them, not me. And it diminishes all of my hard work. You can do anything if you work hard. I really worked hard to get here. It’s not about my disability.

Eric Graise

Later, in 2020, he gave an interview to Amplitude, expressing his desire to play a part in a superhero movie. He feels that not many disabled people are represented in such movies.

The Locke and Key actor further added:

I have a dream of playing either a superhero or a supervillain. I think we in the disability community have yet to have any representation in Marvel or DC. I can’t think of a person with a disability having powers, except in the fantasy realm. I mean, you have Professor X who has a disability. You have Cyborg, a black man with multiple amputations. There’s tons of characters in the fantasy world with disabilities, but we’re not seeing any as far as actors go—and I know so many actors that can do it. I know so many very physical people with disabilities who have really cool movement, because I’ve been in association with a lot of dance stuff. But nobody’s had the imagination yet to cast or write it, you know? And that’s so disappointing to me. But that is my goal. I really wanna be a some kind of superhero or some kind of supervillain. I wouldn’t even have to be a main one.

Eric Graise

After going through so many things in life, his suggestion to others is that success only comes from hard work. He also wants people to be against empty compliments.

In Case You Didn’t Know

  • Eric wrote and directed a short film, Limited Space, in 2018.
  • Barack Obama’s administration invited him to speak at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


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