Audiences everywhere finally had a chance to experience John Krasinski’s outstanding A Quiet Place this weekend, as the film celebrated its release in theaters nationwide. There are a lot of elements that make this creature feature such a standout endeavor, but for me, it’s the film’s emotional punch of an ending that really stuck with me, particularly because of how it pertains to a certain character and the performer behind it all.

Before I go any further, though, I must warn readers that I’m about to dive into SPOILER TERRITORY, so if you haven’t seen A Quiet Place yet, I’d recommend coming back to this article just as soon as you catch up (and trust me, it’s a movie experience that is well worth your time).

***FINAL SPOILER WARNING*** Now, with that being said, during the press day at SXSW 2018 for the latest directorial effort from Krasinski, he chatted about the importance of the finale of A Quiet Place, and how much it meant to him to turn Millicent Simmonds' character’s handicap into the very thing that ends up saving the day in the end.

I think my favorite part of A Quiet Place is how you treat Millie’s character, and also rely on her own experiences being deaf in this film. It hit me so hard how you took this thing that so many people would call a handicap, and turned that into something that becomes the saving grace to this story in the end. It was just remarkable, and it feels like something that’s very important and worth celebrating.

John Krasinski: You hit on something that, boy, I might even get emotional talking about. [Scott] Beck and [Bryan] Woods had written a deaf character, but they didn't write the hearing aid being the thing that defeats the monsters at the end. There was this other device, so that was one of the first ideas I had for the rewrite, and I was so happy about it because it just kind of clicks. It's like a math equation when you're like, "Oh my god, it worked." And I said to Emily, "Oh my god. What if I could actually make her disability something that is heroic, and make this young girl the hero, too?"

My initial thinking was, "What if you take the person who thinks they're the black sheep and doesn't deserve to be in the family, and by the end of the movie, if she wasn't in the family they all would have died? That could really work." And so I wrote that. I was so excited about it. And then I met Millie, and I met Millie's mom, and started talking to Millie's mom about how powerful this idea could be. In fact, when we discussed it, she hadn't even spoken to Millie about how big an idea this film could be, where audiences would ultimately experience her deafness through the conceit of this film.

But when I told her mom that I was going to cut the sound out whenever we were inside Millie's head, she said to me, "That's literally what I think about every day: what is my daughter hearing every day?" She told me how contemplating that would bring her to tears every single day. And I said, "At the end of this movie, Millie's going to realize the thing that she thought made her less than all of us is the thing that makes her the superhero in the movie."

And on the day when we shot this big scene, I was kind of nervous because I was thinking, "Wow, all this stuff is in Millie's head and this is probably going to be a really weird/emotional moment for her." But that girl stood up as if she was Wonder Woman, where she was like, "No, I know exactly what this moment is." And I was like, "Who is this girl?"

Millie is like a little warrior princess and I was so honored to have her in the movie because of that. It was the most incredible thing to watch, because she took her experiences into her character and made us all understand what her life is like. She's so smart. She knew exactly why this movie was going to be cool for her character, and she was like, "Yeah, I know exactly how to deliver that." It was amazing, it was unbelievable, and I’m so glad Millie was a part of this.


Check here to catch up on Heather's A Quiet Place review and interviews, including the rest of her discussion with Krasinski.

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.