We first met Michael Theo on Love On The Spectrum. Now he's working as an actor.

In 2020, the world fell in love with a 25-year-old man named Michael Theo from Wollongong in NSW.

He was looking for love, and as he told the ABC documentary series Love On The Spectrum, his dream in life was to become a husband. 

During the show we watched Michael, who has Asperger's Syndrome, on his quest to find a girlfriend. He told us that he was very aware that dating today was more about sex than love, but he wanted the latter. He even had a pair of love ducks on his bedside table — a reminder of his ultimate goal.

We watched him go on his very first date. He wore a suit and tie, and took Amanda to a very fancy restaurant in his hometown. He pulled out her chair and asked her questions about herself and brought her a single red rose.

Unfortunately, she got a bit overwhelmed and ended up leaving before they had a chance to eat anything.

"Did I go too far with my questions?" a concerned Michael asked the producer.

Ever the gentleman, he showed his date to the door and, reflecting on the experience, he sighed and told the camera sadly, "That's life I guess."

As his journey for love continued through the course of the series, Michael became the standout star. His plight went worldwide when the show was picked up by Netflix.

"World's Biggest Romantic," the headlines said, as his search attracted worldwide interest.

Speaking to Mamamia podcast No Filter alongside his mum as the success of the show went gangbusters, Michael told Mia Freedman he went on the series because "I'd like to meet a woman and eventually settle down, but I always had trouble doing so because I've got no one to spend time with."


He explained that the show found him via a company he was involved with that helps people with disabilities find work. atWork Australia do things like assist with resumes and interview skills, and they recommended him to the production company when they were asked about singles looking for love.

Unfortunately, Michael finished the series girlfriend-less, and in season two he returned to continue his quest for "true love".

"I can't see myself without a wife," he told the show upon his return. "There's no other way for me."

He had a few great dates with a woman named Heather. He even met her family. But then we watched Michael have to make a difficult call when he realised she wasn't the one for him.

With his newfound stardom, Michael started a podcast called Mr A+, which promised to "entertain and bring love and light into people's lives".

But he's put the podcast on pause for now as he pursues an acting career. His debut role is as the lead in a new comedy drama for the ABC called Austin.

The show follows Michael's character — a forklift driver from Canberra with autism who is on a quest to find out who his father is. He stars alongside Australian screen legend Roy Billing, Bridget Jones's Diary actor Sally Phillips, and BAFTA winner Ben Miller.

Not only did Michael help inspire the character of Austin, his mother inspired the character's mother, who is played in the show by Gia Carides.


WATCH: Here's a snippet.

Video via ABC

It's really funny in that dry Australian way, and Michael is really, really good. His performance is effortless and genuine.

"A real privilege to work with Michael Theo," Sally shared on Instagram.

"He was way better than us, I felt, often,” she added in an interview with TV WEEK. "In true Aussie fashion, there was just no drama about it at all. He didn't realise he was the lead. And if you asked him how he was doing, if he was managing, he'd go, 'Oh, it's just much better than my other job.' He used to do door finishing."

As Michael told ABC Radio, acting has been a dream of his since childhood. "I've been told by many people I have natural talent," he said.

He is hopeful this is just the start of his acting career. While he considers himself a comedic actor, he's keen to try out other genres like drama, adventure, romance and historical fantasy.

On a personal note, Michael's quest for love continues. But he's not giving up hope.

Feature image: ABC.

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