Nothing really shocks me anymore, I mean Trump is currently our president so that’s the most shock I need. While on the nationwide search to cast the young rose in ‘Wonderstruck”, director Todd Haynes had a bizarre encounter. He received 100 or so tapes from girls who some weren’t deaf at all,”“It was a little bit of a shock,” says the director. Representation is super important, so getting an actually deaf person was key for the film. Hayes was shocked and surprised by a number of people faking deaf for this role,“We even got a few girls who later admitted that they weren’t deaf. It was pretty intense. It was a little bit of a shock.”
To find the perfect Rose, Haynes conducted a nationwide search before finding Millicent Simmonds, 14, from Utah. ‘Wonderstruck” tells the stories of two kids. Ben (Fegley) and Rose (Simmonds), who grow up in different eras — Ben in 1977 in Minnesota, Rose in 1927 in New Jersey — as they each set out on a quest to discover what they’re missing. Julianne Moore plays a silent film star that Simmonds admires, while Michelle Williams plays the mother of Fegley’s character.
‘Wonderstruck’ premiered at The Cannes Film Festival Wonderstruck and received a long standing ovation after its May 18 debut.
Hayne’s experience isn’t rare, it seems like in Hollywood overstepping and misrepresentation is a common occurrence. With the overwhelming amount of white people playing roles made for people of color, it’s a constant problem. Although Haynes stayed true and used a deaf person, not all directors are as sincere. Maybe ‘Wonderstruck’ received a standing ovation because it was accurate and had a true portrayal of a deaf person.