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Millicent Simmonds

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Millicent Simmonds
Born2002/2003 (age 15–16)[1]
Utah, United States
OccupationActress
Years active2017–present

Millicent "Millie" Simmonds (born 2002/2003) is a deaf American actress who starred in the 2017 drama film Wonderstruck and the 2018 horror film A Quiet Place. For Wonderstruck, she was nominated for several awards for best youth performance.

Background

Simmonds is a native of the US state of Utah.[2] She lives in Bountiful, Utah.[1] She has four siblings; two older and two younger than her.[3] At twelve months old, Simmonds lost her hearing due to a medication overdose.[4] Her mother learned American Sign Language and taught the family so they could communicate with her.[5] When Simmonds was three years old, she started attending the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf, where she participated in its drama club. 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 sole film experience before Wonderstruck was a deaf student's short, "Color the World".[1] Simmonds has a cochlear implant.[6] With it, she listens to Father John Misty and Red Hot Chili Peppers.[7]

Simmonds, who read the deaf-themed juvenile novel Wonderstruck when it was published in 2011, received news of open casting for the film adaptation (released in 2017) from her former drama teacher and auditioned for a role in the film.[1] 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.[1] 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."[8] 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".[9] 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.[10]

KSL.com's Liesl Nielsen reported in May 2017, "Millie plans to continue both acting and advocating for the deaf community."[11] 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.[12] The filmmakers hired an ASL interpreter for Simmonds, so that spoken and signed language could be interpreted back and forth on set.[13] Simmonds helped teach her fellow actors to sign.[14]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role
2017 Wonderstruck Rose
2018 A Quiet Place Regan Abbott

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2019 This Close Emmaline Guest star in season 2[15]
2019 Andi Mack TBD Recurring role in season 3[7]

Accolades

Year Film Award Ceremony Result Ref.
2017 Wonderstruck Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer 23rd Critics' Choice Awards Nominated [16]
Florida Film Critics Circle's Pauline Kael Breakout Award Florida Film Critics Circle Awards 2017 Nominated [17]
Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor 44th Saturn Awards Nominated [18]
Seattle Film Critics Society Award for Best Youth Performance 2017 Seattle Film Critics Society Awards Nominated [19]
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Youth Performance Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 2017 Nominated [20]
Women Film Critics Circle Award for Best Young Actress 2017 Women Film Critics Circle Awards Nominated [21]

References

  1. ^ 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.
  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. ^ Votaw, Ann (April 10, 2018). "Millicent Simmonds on How the Plot of 'A Quiet Place' Relates to Real Life". The Observer. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  4. ^ Cragun, Nathaniel (March 4, 2016). "Deaf filmmaker's latest work advocates greater cause". The Signpost. Weber State University. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  5. ^ Harris, Sarah (November 6, 2017). "Young Utah 'Wonderstruck' actress speaks of 'frustration' that deaf people feel". Deseret News. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  6. ^ Weiss, Haley (November 1, 2017). "Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds has a message for those who are different". Interview. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Mezikofsky, Chaya (2018). "A Game-Changing Talent". Variety. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  8. ^ Bramesco, Charles (April 30, 2016). "Carol Director Todd Haynes Breaks New Ground in Casting His Next Film". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Staff (December 12, 2017). "The AP names its Breakthrough Entertainers of 2017". ap.org. Associated Press. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  11. ^ Nielsen, Liesl (May 11, 2017). "Deaf Bountiful girl films lead role in upcoming movie 'Wonderstruck'". ksl.com. KSL-TV. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  12. ^ Burton, Bryan (April 7, 2018). "John Krasinski Pushed to Cast a Deaf Actress for 'A Quiet Place'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Staff (October 15, 2018). "Sundance Now's THIS CLOSE Unveils Season Two Guest Star Lineup". Broadway World. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "2017 FFCC Winners". floridafilmcritics.com. Florida Film Critics Circle. December 23, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "'Blade Runner 2049' Leads the 2017 Seattle Film Critics Society Nominations". seattlefilmcritics.com. Seattle Film Critics Society. December 11, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  20. ^ "'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.
  21. ^ Benardello, Karen (December 23, 2017). "The Women Film Critics Circle Awards 2017's Best Movies". Shock Ya!. Retrieved March 28, 2018.

External links