To celebrate the DVD, Blu-ray and digital release of A Quiet Place, we spoke to star Millicent Simmonds, who plays Regan Abbott, to get a behind-the-scenes look at John Krasinski’s horror directorial debut…
What appealed to you about A Quiet Place?
Millicent Simmonds: What initially appealed to me about the project, I would have to say it was how people were working together. When I was watching John and Emily and as they were doing their parts and they were acting in the movie, I found it really interesting watching them work through their parts. They’re really emotional scenes, some of the scarier that proved to be a little bit more challenging. And I feel as though I learned a lot just by observing them in their trade. I also made a lot of friends on the set, which was really cool.
What did you like about the script?
When I first was able to read the script for A Quiet Place I was very drawn to it, very fascinated from the beginning to the end. And of course I do like horror movies and stories of that sort. At first I read it through a little bit slowly. I took my time. But it definitely started to become a little bit more appealing, and I feel as though I could start to relate to the character Regan.
She was very depressed. She wanted to be able to help out, she felt stifled as a deaf girl. She wasn’t quite sure how she fit in or what she could do. She needed to depend on being able to hear in order to survive. So she kind of depended on a lot of other people. She depended on her hearing aid. And she really needed that for communication. And really being able to hear jokes and music and all of those other things and be able to get the most out of your education often that’s done through hearing. So I could relate to a lot of the challenges that that character faced as well.
Can you talk about the relationship between Regan and her brother Marcus (Noah Jupe)?
Well, I believe Regan’s relationship with Noah Jupe’s character Marcus was a very special relationship. They were both really young. They weren’t quite sure what was happening. They’d really not seen other friends. They weren’t socializing with other children. We had lost our brother. So the two of us were– I guess you could say we love everything. And despite that we were very close. We had a great relationship. We were the only real socialisation we got during that time. And Regan was very depressed. She was depressed as a deaf person in the movie. She felt like she could possibly be the reason why– she could get her whole family killed if she wasn’t careful enough with how loud she was. She was constantly terrified about that, and it brought her down quite a bit.
Marcus noticed that about his sister, and he tried to be very positive and supportive of her as a hearing individual. And he reassured her that just because she’s deaf she’s not gonna get the whole family killed. And then there was the one scene where Noah’s character knocked over the lantern. And she was able to look at him and say, yeah, you’re right. Hearing people do make mistakes. They make noise too, so they blamed him.
How did you find getting into character for this role?
Well, how I got into the mindset of my character was challenging at first, how I had a lot of assistance from other people. For example, when we started filming underneath the bridge, this was when Beau was taken away. And it was just a really emotional scene. Obviously, I’d never experienced anything of that sort in my life. And I had not experienced some great loss to that extent. So it was hard to relate to the great emotion and the pain in that moment. However, John pulled me aside, and he walked down under the bridge with me. And we sat down, and we went through it. We discussed the emotions of that moment. And we also went through our relationship, our character– the relationship between Lee and Regan. And we went through all those emotions how as a father and daughter they still love each other quite a bit.
But Regan needs to hear that from her father. She needs that from her father quite a bit. So he encouraged me to draw on that, those emotions. Also Regan started hating herself. She really hated herself for being deaf. And I could kind of relate to some of those feelings as a deaf individual when I was a lot younger. It was very challenging to me comparing myself to hearing people or I guess you could say “normal people.” And I think, when I was much younger, I thought, why am I deaf? Why was I born deaf? So I could relate to those emotions from when I was much younger. And I could use those to inform my characters emotions and decisions. But at first it was definitely a challenge.
What was it like to work with John Krasinski?
You know, off set out of character John and I have a really good relationship. We tease. We talk a lot. We establish a great rapport. And it was a little bit different from what was happening on set because we had to have that conflict between us as the father and the daughter. We had to act like we didn’t have very good rapport, and we weren’t very close on set. But when John took me aside and we had those softer moments where he explained the emotional part of the role, I learned a lot from him as a seasoned actor.
Do you have a favourite scene?
My favourite scene in A Quiet Place would have to be where we were filming with John. And the two of us were in the middle of an argument. We were fighting about my hearing aid in the film. It was really interesting. And it was kind of odd because he and I love each other. We have a great working relationship and a great friendship. But to have to do this in the movie and draw on those negative, depressed emotions and experience heartbreak in that scene when with John he was– he seemed to be able to get it very easily. He seemed to move through the scene smoothly. He knew how to transition from feeling very down to feeling happy. It was a heavy emotional scene, but he would still be able to joke with me and tease with me and kind of lighten things up when they just felt a little too heavy. So it was nice to have that break with him.
A Quiet Place is out now on DVD, Blu-ray and digital. Get all the latest horror news with every issue of SciFiNow.