Deaf Actress Cast in Todd Haynes’ ‘Wonderstruck’ with Julianne Moore


Millicent "Millie" Simmonds

Following an extensive casting search, deaf newcomer Millicent “Millie” Simmonds has been cast in Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck.”

The 13-year-old Simmonds, who joins a cast that includes Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore, will play Rose in the film. Deadline, who first reported the news, claims that Rose’s half of the film will be silent, both as an ode to movie history and “an aesthetic designed to capture her perspective.” The outlet reports that her portion of the film will also feature an unprecedented amount of deaf actors in parts that otherwise would normally be given to hearing actors.

“Wonderstruck” is Haynes’ follow-up to last year’s “Carol.” It is based on Brian Selznick’s (“Hugo”) award-winning book of the same name. The book’s description is as follows:

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories — Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in pictures — weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder.

Indiewire’s “The Playlist” confirms that Williams will play the role of Ben’s mom. Jaden Michael and Amy Hargreaves also star, with more casting news to be announced in the coming weeks.

The film, which is being produced and released by Amazon Studios, is aiming for an unspecified 2017 release date.

Haynes and Williams previously worked together on “I’m Not There.” He also worked with Moore on 2002’s “Far From Heaven.” Variety was the first to report the casting news on Williams.