Even when John’s character was distancing himself from yours because of this family tragedy, he still wants her to be as resourceful as he is and trains her as such.

John’s character pushed me aside at times, and our characters didn’t know how to connect after the incident happened. Before all of this, we were really close and our relationship as father and daughter were good. But after the incident, things became really awkward and he couldn’t communicate with me or tell me that he loved me. And that’s why dinner time, the mom would always encourage me to go get dad, and I never wanted to because I didn’t want to see him. I thought his character hated my character, and that guilt caused that sense of awkwardness between our characters.

I’ve read that you’re an activist for deaf people everywhere. What form does that take? What are some of the specific things that you’re involved with?

I would like to encourage more people in the disability community, not just deaf people, to be more involved in the arts, and I’m also a huge supporter of other deaf actors, like Nyle DiMarco, Shoshannah Stern, Josh Feldman, Lauren Ridloff—she just got nominated for a Tony Award [for the revival of Children of a Lesser God], which is truly incredible. What I want to do is encourage more of that, more deaf presence in TV, movies, acting, modeling—that’s really what I want to work toward.

Wonderstruck and A Quiet Place are about as different as two films could be. What were the biggest differences between the directing styles of Todd Haynes and John Krazinski?

That’s a great question. Todd is a little bit older, a little more experienced, very wise, and I think he knows what he wants to do before he does it. He’s five steps ahead of everyone else. He trusted me and gave me flexibility to discover things as I played the character, figure out what my character liked to do, and develop that character. He was helpful but more hands off in terms of giving advice. John took me on more as a mentee, he worked with me, advised me, he knew what he wanted the scene to look like and everything was detail oriented, but we were also filming quickly. Before every scene, we would sit down and talk about what that scene might look like. He was so open to all the ideas that I shared with him. Both of them were extremely wise and wonderful people, so open, and I was really fortunate to have both of them as my directors.

Have you gotten to the point as an actor where you know the different between playing a character and becoming the character?

It’s really interesting, and I like to read a lot of books about acting. I’m interested in the process and what it looks like, and those resources have helped me really resonate with the characters I’ve played. A lot of the characters I’m reading about are people my age, and this character didn’t like the fact that she was deaf, so I could kind of understand and take advantage of that so that I could be the character versus playing the character. In Wonderstruck, she ran off to New York to be by herself. That’s a very brave, confident, empowering thing to do. She knew what she wanted to do. In A Quiet Place, she uses her weakness as a weapon, and she changes that and there’s a paradigm shift. I think that was a really interesting part of her as well.

I’m really excited to see what you do next. Do you have any ideas at this point of any types of films you’d like to try out next? Or do you know what’s next for you?

I actually am not sure what’s coming up next, but I do hope that I’ll continue with this path. I’d like to meet more people and gain more experiences and travel. I would love to try to play a villain in the next film or maybe a spy. I love those double-agent type of roles. I’m not as savvy and knowledgable about all of the directors that are out there, but as a person, I’m really open-minded and love meeting new people and watching the way directors film and their perspectives and following their lead. I’m really looking forward to all of those experiences.

You mentioned representation being important in all of the arts, and in recent years there have been a couple of films with a deaf character at the center but not played by deaf actors, including the film that just won the Best Picture Academy Award, The Shape of Water. Where do you stand on that practice.

Admittedly, I haven’t seen The Shape of Water, so I can’t give a specific opinion about that. But I think that there are a lot of deaf actors—I mentioned Josh and Shoshannah, who are in a TV series called “This Close” [on Sundance Now]—and I think there are a lot of other opportunities for deaf actors as well. I think it’s really important that we have diversity—whether it’s different languages, cultures—be involved in film and in the arts. Also, we should have people in the arts to help develop those characters and work closely with those characters to make sure they’re being portrayed correctly.

From a practical standpoint on A Quiet Place, what did you see on set to represent the monsters?

They actually did show us designs of what the monsters were going to look like, so we did have that. Then they provided some cardboard cutouts and different sticks with the cardboard on it, just to help us know where to look. Then they had someone in a green suit that they would edit out later. In fact, John actually acted as the monster in the green suit one time, and it was pretty funny to see him in that role and I couldn’t stop laughing. He was really dramatic trying to play the monsters, very specific. He took it really seriously. The monster actually looked different in the movie than what I had expected, so that was surprising to me.

Of course being in the movie, I knew what was going to happen, but with the editing and other effects, it was actually scary to see some of the scenes. But it was also interesting to see from other people’s perspectives what scenes were like that I wasn’t involved with and then also to see audience members’ reactions, people who didn’t know the storyline. It was amazing. They had no idea what was happening, so they had to be even more terrified than I was. I kind of felt bad for them. It was interesting to see the monsters in the film, because they were different than I’d imagined. We were seeing the monsters from John’s perspective and in his world, his imagination. So it was neat seeing them come to life.

Thank you so much. It was wonderful to meet you.

Likewise. Thank you so much.

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