Millicent Simmonds Bio: In Her Own Words – Video Exclusive, News, Photos
Millicent Simmonds Bio: Early Life And Career
Simmonds was born in Utah. She has four siblings, two younger and two older ones. Simmonds lost her hearing at the age of one because of a medication overdose. She and the rest of her family learned American Sign Language from her mother.
At age three, Simmonds enrolled in the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf, and was a member of the school’s theater club. Simmonds uses a cochelar implant, an electronic device used by those who are hard of hearing.
Simmonds starred alongside Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams in the 2017 mystery drama film Wonderstruck. She used American Sign Language interpreters to communicate with other people working on the set.
The Associated Press recognized Simmonds as a Breakthrough Entertainer in 2017.
Simmonds plans to advocate for deaf and hearing-impaired actors, as well as actors with other sensory disabilities.
Millicent Simmonds Interview: Wonderstruck
Simmonds sat down with uInterview for an exclusive interview about her film Wonderstruck, which was released in October 2017.
Simmonds was nominated for several awards including the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Young Performer and the Saturn Award for her role in the film, which is based on Brian Selznick‘s 2011 novel of the same name.
The movie interweaves two stories set fifty years apart from each other. Both of them are about a child’s journey. Simmonds’ character Rose sets out from New Jersey in the 1920s to find her idol, an actress named Lilian Mayhew played by Moore. Then in the 1970s, a young orphan named Ben (Oakes Fegley) escapes from his Minnesota home to look for his father.
“The first time I read the script, I was very moved in a great way because he got everything right,” said Simmonds of Selznick, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. “He really understood the deaf experience, it wasn’t just about not hearing things and it made me fascinated. I also read his book and felt the same way, I felt so connected to the story.”
She continued, revealing something that surprised her about the novel: “I actually thought that the person who wrote it was deaf, and when I found out he wasn’t, I was so amazed and surprised. Selznick brought forth the same story in the script, he did amazing research.”
Simmonds added that she did not need to help other actors in the film who played deaf characters despite not being truly deaf because they all likewise did their own research beforehand.
“There was an ASL coach who taught them American Sign Language and was a great consultant. Oakes Fegley also went to New York and simulated the experience of not being able to hear. Julianne Moore also learned so much sign language and always wanted to learn more. It was so much fun working with both of them.”
The young actress admitted that she was “very nervous” to work with Oscar winner Moore at first.
“She was always my favorite actress, I loved her in The Hunger Games,” Simmonds said of Moore. “She was very direct and helpful in our scenes.”
Simmonds also revealed how she first got her start in acting.
“I really didn’t expect this to happen,” she confessed. “At first I thought I wanted to be a cop or a fireman, those were my first ambitions but I was involved in a small drama club at school and the teacher said ‘why don’t you audition for this?’ and the only reason I did it was because of her, and look where it led me.”
Millicent Simmonds Personal Life: Social Media, Height
Simmonds is listed as being 5-foot-2 and weighs 88 pounds. She is not on Twitter, but is on Instagram as @milliesimm.
Millicent Simmonds News
- Millicent Simmonds On ‘Wonderstruck,’ Julianne Moore & The Deaf Community [VIDEO EXCLUSIVE]
- ‘A Quiet Place’ Blu-Ray Review: Sci-Fi Horror Flick Is Also A Poignant Family Drama
- Oakes Fegley & Jaden Michael On ‘Wonderstruck’ & Playing Deaf Character [VIDEO EXCLUSIVE]
- Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams & Cast Of ‘Wonderstruck’ Attends Cannes Film Festival 2017