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Do it the Right Way: A Quiet Place Actor Millicent On Writing Deaf Characters

Here's what 'A Quiet Place 2' actor Millicent Simmonds is scared of.

Updated
Cinema
3 min read

John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place was loved by one and all and fans couldn't wait for the sequel. A Quiet Place 2 was all set to release in 2020, but the pandemic pushed all release plans indefinitely. Now finally, the wait has ended as A Quiet Place 2 hits Indian theatres on 8 October.

The Quint spoke to actor Millicent Simmonds who plays the lead character in the second part of the horror film. The actor who is also a deaf community activist talks about representation of the community in films.

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How has the success of 'A Quiet Place' changed your life?

Millicent Simmonds: Well, life has changed dramatically. When I made the first film, I was just a child. After the film people would recognise me on the street and come up to me and ask for pictures and autographs. So, a lot of things have changed. It's affected my school life, I travel more, I have met so many more people and I have so many memories now. Cherished memories.

You must be really popular in school!

MS: Well, actually right now I am taking classes online. It's easier for me to be able to travel and stay ahead of my schoolwork. So ya...

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Do you like scary films? And what's your favourite?

MS: I have been watching a lot more horror films. I mean 'Parasite' is one of my favourites. 'Get Out' and 'Us' and films like those. I really love 'Parasite'. Just because of how the story unfolded unlike other scary stories where you know... It’s not a traditional story with monsters etc. I think it really had a huge impact. And the cast dynamics were amazing. Just how they told the story and used their set. And I learnt so much about their culture too which was so great.

When you are a part of a scary film, you already know what's going to happen but when you watch it after shooting it, does it still scare you?

MS: Ya, I mean it's amazing. There is a huge difference when you are experiencing it. Yes, when you are acting on set, you don't see the monster on set. You don't see the alien. You just see tape on a wall or a man in a green suit which is rather comical. So, when you see the monster in the film or the alien in the film it rather strikes you. You go like ‘Oh my God! It's right there.’ It's scary.

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People's perception towards an actor who is deaf has been changing, thanks to you. Do you think you have been a part of that change, and will more scripts will be written for them now?

MS: Thank you for saying that and I am very happy that I get to be a representative of the deaf community. And of course, I see a lot of changes in our industry and in our society. I hope that these changes continue. We need more education in our society to do right. We need to do it the right way. If you are writing stories for deaf characters you need to do it the right way to make sure accommodations are in place, that there are ASL (American Sign Language) coaches hired, interpreters on set, that the stories are authentic. Those things are important to me. It's actually a very emotional part of my life and very important to me.

So now what? Do you want to continue acting or you want to do something else? Is this your passion?

MS: I would love to do all I can while I have the opportunity in this career. Maybe I'll go to college who knows? I think I would love to travel more. See new places. I would love to do that. I want to meet more people.

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What is your biggest fear?

MS: Spiders. I hate spiders, I don't know why, but I do. I have to say it's spiders. Where I live there are lot of spiders. So, things are not going that well in that department.

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