“Wonderstruck” is based on the best-selling novel by Brian Selznick. In this groundbreaking tour de force, he sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.
Childhood wonderment is unlike anything else. It’s wild, new, fun, scary, and at times, inspirational. Newcomer Millicent Simmonds (who plays the effervescent Rose), effortlessly glides into her role with unwavering ease. She is fierce, bold, and sensitive–all the traits of a masterful young star. And the fact that Simmonds is deaf in real life adds to the wonderment that she so effortlessly demonstrates on camera.
Wonderstruck tells the story of Ben and Rose, two children from two different eras who secretly wish that their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he’s never known, while Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue and Rose reads an enticing headline, they both set out on epic quests to find what they’re missing. We caught up with new actress Millicent Simmonds who talks working with Julianne Moore & director Todd Haynes.
The Knockturnal: Were you nervous going into it with big stars, such as Julianne Moore, and Todd Haynes?
Millicent Simmonds: Oh, my gosh, yes. Very nervous. I was nervous. I was wondering, “Oh, my gosh, I might ruin their moment.” Here I am, I’m a new actress, and they’re so experienced, they’re the pros, and they’re top names. And I thought, “Oh, my gosh, how can I do this?” I was so nervous, but both Julianne and Todd made me feel so calm, and so welcome, and comfortable, like, I was really part of the team. It was an amazing experience.
The Knockturnal: I love the scene in the film, where you are in the mirror, and you cut your hair. How was that for you, transforming as an actress? How did you use that for your character?
Millicent Simmonds: That was a really tough scene for me to do, because, I could relate to the character. Because when I was young, I had long hair, too. And I always hated it, where my bangs were always in face, and always bothering me. And so, I went to my mom, and I said, “I wanna cut my hair.” So she took the same day to cut it all off. And I remember that feeling. And Rose, when she saw the picture in the magazine, with short hair, that moment inspired her to cut her hair. I can understand that. But to do it was really hard, because I had to use my left hand for her character, and those scissors are very old, and heavy. And I was scared that I was gonna cut myself, right? I feel, “Okay, great, I can see an accident coming.” But, so, I tried practicing, and this scene, actually, it worked. I didn’t know what would happen, but it actually worked. I love that scene.
The Knokturnal: In the film, in the beginning of the film, you are looking up to Julianne Moore’s character, almost as a fan. And we later find out that she’s your mom. Who do you look up to in real life?
Millicent Simmonds: Julianne Moore. Same person. She is actually my favorite person, always has been. I’ve loved her work. In Hunger Games, I think she’s an amazing villain, too. And she’s brave. She’s emotional. She’s not afraid. Right away I was taken with her as an actress, and with her as a person. She’s an amazing person. She’s so confident. She’s so smart. She’s so talented. I learned so much from working with her. And she’s so precise in her work.
The Knockturnal: So much potential for you in the future. What kind of projects do you wanna do next?
Millicent Simmonds: I’m working on a film right now.
The Knockturnal: Ohh, what is it about?
Millicent Simmonds: I can’t say much about it yet, but it’s called A Quiet Place, and it’s a horror film.
The Knockturnal: Ooh, it’s gonna be good, I know.
Millicent Simmonds: Yeah, it’s a new experience. It’s great. I’m working with John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. And it’s been an amazing experience, as well.