‘Cha Cha Real Smooth,’ written, directed by, and starring Cooper Raiff, is the story of Andrew’s unlikely bond with Domino and her daughter, Lola. Andrew, a 22-year-old college graduate who is compassionate and articulate, becomes a mature adult in this comedy-drama. Andrew’s character and his boundless compassion are highlighted through his relationship with Lola, who is autistic.
Some of the most touching and heartwarming scenes in the film are dedicated to Lola. Given the character’s importance to the narrative, it is natural for viewers to wonder whether the actress playing the part is autistic in real life. In that case, here is everything you need to know about the actress who plays Lola in ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ and her semblance to the character. SPOILERS BEFORE!
Who Plays In Lola Cha Cha Real Smooth?
In ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth,’ Lola is the daughter of Domino, who had her daughter when she was still a teenager. Lola is a gifted young girl, who excels at solving cubes as well as playing board games. Although she is older than her peers, Lola is sensitive and smart. Lola is autistic and was limited in her education for several years. Andrew and Lola form a close bond despite Lola’s difficulties with socialization.
Vanessa Burghardt plays Lola in the film. The film marks Burghardt’s acting debut, and she was selected for the role after several actresses were screen-tested. In an interview, writer-director Cooper Raiff revealed that much of Lola’s sensibilities in the film are informed by Burghardt’s real-life personality. Thus, he called the character a marriage between his writing and Burghardt’s inputs.
Not much is known about Burghardt’s personal life, but she took acting classes and honed her skills in local theatre productions before being cast in the film. In an interview, actress Dakota Johnson, who plays the mother of Burghardt’s character, hinted that the young actress would be featuring in a project produced by her production company.
Vanessa Burghardt, is she autistic?
Yes, Vanessa Burghardt has autistic characteristics in real life. In an interview, the film’s casting director Angela Demo opened up about the casting process for the part of Lola. Demo said that Lola was a role for which the production was determined to cast an authentic choice. She revealed that she spent a lot of time searching for an actress who is on the autism spectrum.
Demo explained that Demo held a nationwide look for young actresses to be a good fit for the role. She received Burghardt’s reading for the role among the audition tapes. Demo shared the taping with director Cooper Raiff who was instantly impressed with Burghardt’s take on the character. Burghardt was cast as the character she identified with, and is a talented actor with autism. Burghardt expressed appreciation for being part of the film that portrays an autistic character. Like much of the film, Burghardt’s performance as Lola has received critical acclaim.
Read More: Where Was Cha Cha Real Smooth Filmed?