Deafie of the Week: Millicent Simmons!


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Millicent Simmons, via The Salt Lake Tribune


Millicent made some significant headway into Deaf History with her famed role in The Quiet Place, a horror film which incorporated American Sign Language more than what we are certainly used to. We don’t want to spoil the plot, but we (of course) encourage you to go see the movie and Millicent in action! Ms. Simmons also starred in the 2017 movie Wonderstruck, for which she was nominated for several awards in youth performance. 

Millicent was born in 2002 in Utah with four siblings, and became deaf after a medication overdose at only a year old. Her mother was determined to give her the best chance at communicating and began to teacher Millicent and the rest of the family Sign Language. (She was also given a cochlear implant.) After attending the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf during her elementary years, she was eventually mainstreamed. Millicent spent much of her young life active in drama and theater and performed in the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City- her only role before Wonderstruck was in a deaf student’s film (Color the World). 

When being cast for The Quiet Place, the producers originally did not push to hire a deaf actress to play the role. The director, Krasinski, was the one who pushed to have a deaf actress. They also hired interpreters for Millicent to better communicate with her on set. Millicent plans to advocate for the Deaf Community and continue to act in movies.