Millicent Simmonds

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Millicent Simmonds
Actress Millicent Simmonds at Cannes for premiere of her 2017 film Wonderstruck
Simmonds at Cannes in 2017
Born (2003-03-06) March 6, 2003 (age 17)[1]
Utah, United States
OccupationActress
Years active2017–present

Millicent "Millie" Simmonds (born (2003-03-06)March 6, 2003) is a deaf American teen actress who starred in the 2017 drama film Wonderstruck and the 2018 horror film A Quiet Place. For both films, she was nominated for several awards for best youth performance. In television, she appeared in Andi Mack in 2018 and in This Close in 2019. She will appear in A Quiet Place Part II in 2020.

Background[edit]

Simmonds is a native of the US state of Utah.[2] She lives in Bountiful, Utah.[3] She has four siblings; two older and two younger than her.[4] Prior to turning 12 months old, Simmonds lost her hearing due to a medication overdose.[5] Her mother learned American Sign Language and taught the family so they could communicate with her.[6] Simmonds's mother also encouraged her to read books extensively.[7] When Simmonds was three years old, she started attending the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf, where she participated in its drama club.[3] Her first play was in A Midsummer Night's Dream as Puck.[7] After completing sixth grade, she mainstreamed at the Mueller Park Junior High School in the fall of 2015. She has performed at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, Utah, and her primary film experience before Wonderstruck was a deaf student's short, "Color the World".[3] Simmonds has a cochlear implant.[8] With it, she listens to Father John Misty and Red Hot Chili Peppers.[9] Her favorite film to date is The Truman Show (1998).[10]

Career[edit]

Simmonds was 12 years old when she first acted in Wonderstruck (2017).[7] She had read the deaf-themed juvenile novel Wonderstruck when it was published in 2011. When open casting for the film began, her former drama teacher shared the news with her, and she auditioned for a role in the film.[3] She competed with over 250 others. When she won the role, she moved to New York City with her mother and her younger siblings to film Wonderstruck. She used American Sign Language interpreters to communicate on set and also received a tutor to continue schoolwork while filming.[3] Vanity Fair's Charles Bramesco said of her casting, "A Utah native without any major film credits to her name, young Simmonds is expected to make quite a splash both as a new face in the industry as well as an icon for deaf and otherwise sensory-disabled actors."[11] When Wonderstruck premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, the Associated Press's Jake Coyle said Simmonds's screen debut was "hailed as a breakthrough".[12] Simmonds was subsequently nominated for several awards for best youth performance (see accolades). The Associated Press also recognized Simmonds as one of eight actors who were Breakthrough Entertainers of 2017.[13]

KSL.com's Liesl Nielsen reported in May 2017, "Millie plans to continue both acting and advocating for the deaf community."[14] In 2018, she starred in the horror film A Quiet Place as the deaf daughter of a hearing couple, played by John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. While the producers did not specifically plan to cast a deaf actress to play the deaf daughter, Krasinski, who was also the director, pushed to have a deaf actress.[15] Simmonds and her family answered Krasinski's questions for writing a screenplay about a family with a deaf child.[16] The filmmakers hired an ASL interpreter for Simmonds, so that spoken and signed language could be interpreted back and forth on set.[17] Simmonds helped teach her fellow actors to sign.[18]

In 2018, Simmonds appeared in a two-episode arc in the third season of the Disney Channel television series Andi Mack. She first appeared as an extra in the first season, and the series creators invited her back for a recurring role. For her arc, Simmonds taught the other actors how to use ASL, and the showrunners decided to show her scenes involving ASL without providing subtitles so viewers could focus on figuring out the sign language.[10] In one of the episodes, Simmonds also spoke for the first time ever on-camera, responding audibly "I like you" in response to Asher Angel's character Jonah signing "I like you" to her character. Simmonds said of the spoken dialogue, "I can't even remember how it was brought up or who had the idea, but I remember my mom asking me how I felt about it, and I told her I thought I could try. I was actually pretty nervous about it. I don't use my voice a lot in public."[19]

In February 2019, following the box-office success of A Quiet Place, Simmonds entered talks to reprise her role for the sequel in development.[20] In the following June, Simmonds received the Greenwich International Film Festival's Make An Impact Award and participated on the festival's panel to discuss cinematic representation of people with disabilities.[21] In October, Simmonds was cast in a lead role in the pilot for the TV series Close Up on Freeform.[22]

Credits[edit]

Year(s) Title Medium Role Notes Ref.
2017 Wonderstruck Film Rose [23]
2018 A Quiet Place Film Regan Abbott [23]
2018–2019 Andi Mack Television Libby Two-episode arc in season 3 [10]
2019 "Wanted a Name" Music video Self Music video by Frenship [24]
2019 This Close Television Emmaline Episode: "No Place Like Home" [25]
2020 A Quiet Place Part II Film Regan Abbott [26]

Accolades[edit]

Year Film Award Ceremony Result Ref.
2017 Wonderstruck Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer 23rd Critics' Choice Awards Nominated [27]
Florida Film Critics Circle's Pauline Kael Breakout Award Florida Film Critics Circle Awards 2017 Nominated [28]
Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor 44th Saturn Awards Nominated [29]
Seattle Film Critics Society Award for Best Youth Performance 2017 Seattle Film Critics Society Awards Nominated [30]
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Youth Performance Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 2017 Nominated [31]
Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Young Actress 2017 Women Film Critics Circle Awards Nominated [32]
2018 A Quiet Place Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer 24th Critics' Choice Awards Nominated [33]
Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Actress 23 and Under Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society 2nd Annual Awards Nominated [34]
Seattle Film Critics Society Award for Best Youth Performance 2018 Seattle Film Critics Society Awards Nominated [35]
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Youth Performance Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 2018 Nominated [36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rose, Mike (March 6, 2018). "Today's top celebrity birthdays list (March 6, 2018)". Cleveland.com. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. (April 21, 2016). "Deaf Performer Millicent Simmonds To Co-Star In Todd Haynes' 'Wonderstruck'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e Crofts, Natalie (April 15, 2016). "Bountiful girl cast in lead role for upcoming movie 'Wonderstruck'". ksl.com. KSL-TV. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  4. ^ Votaw, Ann (April 10, 2018). "Millicent Simmonds on How the Plot of 'A Quiet Place' Relates to Real Life". Observer. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  5. ^ Cragun, Nathaniel (March 4, 2016). "Deaf filmmaker's latest work advocates greater cause". The Signpost. Weber State University. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  6. ^ Harris, Sarah (November 6, 2017). "Young Utah 'Wonderstruck' actress speaks of 'frustration' that deaf people feel". Deseret News. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Williams, Michelle (February 5, 2020). "Millicent Simmonds Is a Force to Be Reckoned With". Teen Vogue. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  8. ^ Weiss, Haley (November 1, 2017). "Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds has a message for those who are different". Interview. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  9. ^ Mezikofsky, Chaya (2018). "A Game-Changing Talent". Variety. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Ceron, Ella (December 4, 2018). "Millicent Simmonds Saved the Day in A Quiet Place — Now She's Headed to the Disney Channel". Teen Vogue. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  11. ^ Bramesco, Charles (April 30, 2016). "Carol Director Todd Haynes Breaks New Ground in Casting His Next Film". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  12. ^ Coyle, Jake (May 18, 2017). "'Wonderstruck', with deaf newcomer Simmonds, lands at Cannes". ap.org. Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 20, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  13. ^ Staff (December 12, 2017). "The AP names its Breakthrough Entertainers of 2017". ap.org. Associated Press. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  14. ^ Nielsen, Liesl (May 11, 2017). "Deaf Bountiful girl films lead role in upcoming movie 'Wonderstruck'". ksl.com. KSL-TV. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  15. ^ Burton, Bryan (April 7, 2018). "John Krasinski Pushed to Cast a Deaf Actress for 'A Quiet Place'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  16. ^ Sippell, Margeaux (December 9, 2018). "John Krasinski on 'A Quiet Place': Casting A Deaf Actress Was 'Non-Negotiable'". Variety. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  17. ^ Crow, David (April 2, 2018). "A Quiet Place and the Thrill of Making an Original Horror Movie". Den of Geek. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  18. ^ Squires, John (March 14, 2018). "John Krasinski on the Importance of Casting Deaf Actress Millicent Simmonds in 'A Quiet Place'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  19. ^ Gunderson, Alexis (February 1, 2019). "How Andi Mack Landed A Quiet Place Breakout Millicent Simmonds' First Time Speaking on Camera". Paste. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  20. ^ Kit, Borys (February 22, 2019). "'A Quiet Place 2': Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe in Talks to Return (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  21. ^ Zilko, Christian (June 3, 2019). "The Diversity Movement You're Not Hearing About: Actors With Disabilities — Watch". IndieWire. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  22. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (October 3, 2019). "'A Quiet Place' Actress Millicent Simmonds Set To Star In 'Close Up' Pilot At Freeform". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  23. ^ a b "Millicent Simmonds". bfi.org.uk. British Film Institute. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  24. ^ Stivale, Shelly (February 15, 2019). "Up and Coming Actress Millicent Simmonds Stars In FRENSHIP's 'Wanted A Name' Music Video". Tiger Beat. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  25. ^ Staff (October 15, 2018). "Sundance Now's THIS CLOSE Unveils Season Two Guest Star Lineup". Broadway World. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  26. ^ Ames, Jeff (June 20, 2019). "A Quiet Place 2 Sneaks Into Production". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  27. ^ Hammond, Pete (December 6, 2017). "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'The Shape Of Water' Leads With 14; Netflix Tops TV Contenders". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  28. ^ "2017 FFCC Winners". floridafilmcritics.com. Florida Film Critics Circle. December 23, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  29. ^ McNary, Dave (March 15, 2018). "'Black Panther,' 'Walking Dead' Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  30. ^ "'Blade Runner 2049' Leads the 2017 Seattle Film Critics Society Nominations". seattlefilmcritics.com. Seattle Film Critics Society. December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  31. ^ "'Get Out' Is In with D.C. Film Critics". wafca.com. Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  32. ^ Benardello, Karen (December 23, 2017). "The Women Film Critics Circle Awards 2017's Best Movies". Shock Ya!. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  33. ^ Staff (January 13, 2019). "Critics' Choice Awards winners: See who won big in 2019". 6abc.com. WPVI-TV. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  34. ^ "Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Award Winners Announced!". laofcs.org. Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society. December 7, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  35. ^ "'Roma' Named Best Picture of 2018 by Seattle Film Critics Society". seattlefilmcritics.com. Seattle Film Critics Society. December 17, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  36. ^ "'Roma' Feels the Love with D.C. Film Critics". dcfilmcritics.com. Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. December 3, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2019.

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