‘A Quiet Place’ Star Millicent Simmonds on Activism for Deaf Actors and Her Favorite Horror Movies [Interview]
Posted on Monday, July 9th, 2018 by Steven Prokopy
Utah native and rising young actor Millicent Simmonds first garnered a tremendous amount of attention last year, starring as the young deaf girl Rose in Todd Haynes’ delicate and melancholy Wonderstruck. The film was a big-screen debut for Simmonds, who is deaf in real life and had been acting on stage for many years prior in Utah.
But it’s her follow-up role as Regan Abbott in director/co-writer/star John Krasinki’s A Quiet Place earlier this year that got her noticed and praised by the world at large for her portrayal of a character who blames her own affliction for the death of a family member in a world where sound-triggered alien monsters attack with lightning speed. The film is especially interesting because the rest of Regan’s family — played by Krasinski, Emily Blunt and Noah Jupe — must adapt in many way to the world of a deaf person in order to be quiet. American Sign Language is the preferred method of communication and colored warning lights are used to warn other family members of impending danger back at the homestead.
The relationship between Krasinski’s father character, Lee, and Regan is strained, and the anxiety, guilt, and shame is expertly expressed by Simmonds, herself a dedicated advocate and activist for the deaf community, especially in the arts. /Film sat down with the 15-year-old actress in Chicago last week to discuss (through a Sign Language interpreter) the nuances of the role of Regan and her hopes for the types of roles she’s offered moving forward in her career. A Quiet Place will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, and on various streaming services on Tuesday, July 10.