After over a year, ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ is finally hitting theaters. HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with star Millicent Simmonds about Regan’s ‘big burden’ in the sequel and stepping up after Lee’s death.
A Quiet Place Part II was set to be released on May 15, 2020. Within a few days of its New York City premiere in March 2020, the movie would be on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After a year of delays, the highly-anticipated sequel is coming to theaters. A Quiet Place II is an astounding and gripping theatrical experience, and Millicent Simmonds is the standout star of the sequel as Regan Abbott. The 18-year-old actress spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife about Regan taking the reins as the leader of the family in the sequel.
“It was a huge honor, I have to say,” Millicent told HollywoodLife at the movie’s junket in March 2020. “I mean, in one interview John [Krasinski] said that A Quiet Place was a love letter to his children, so now for me to be taking this role in the sequel is a lot. It’s saying to me basically that the second one, I think, is a children’s love letter to their parents. Someone told me that today, and I thought that was a really cool perspective.”
At the end of A Quiet Place, Regan watched as her father, Lee, made the ultimate sacrifice to save her and her brother. Millicent revealed that Regan is struggling in the sequel to find her footing after her father’s death. “It’s a big burden for Regan to carry because she looked up to her father Lee in a big way,” she said. “After his death, she now is left with: what would my father do in this situation? She’s having a hard time finding confidence in herself again after the loss of her father.”
In the sequel, Regan teams up with Cillian Murphy’s Emmett while she’s on a journey to try and defeat the creatures. Millicent worked closely with the Peaky Blinders star, much like she did with John in the first film. “He’s very humble. He’s very quiet, very down to earth,” Millicent said about Cillian. “I always felt comfortable around him. I think we had a really good energy. We work together well. Every scene we had together, we just understood how to support each other. We knew what to do. We found the place in the scene and could just go do it.”
Sound (and the lack thereof) continues to play a major role in A Quiet Place Part II. Millicent, who is deaf, opened up about the impact of silence in the film. “My experience watching it is so different because when it’s Regan’s perspective, it becomes quiet, which actually adds to the intensity and makes it scarier,” Millicent told HollywoodLife. “It’s very funny for me to see how other people are reacting to the silence because they’ve never experienced the silence like I do. I didn’t realize that it could intensify those moments of horror, so it’s really interesting to see how audiences respond and how the editing was used as a tool to sort of bring out the horror.”
From the first film to the second, Millicent recognizes that Regan has undergone a “huge transformation. A lot of growth has happened. As I said, she’s taking on the burden, and she feels responsible for being the leader of her family. She’s thinking of her family, and she’s sort of internalized her father’s voice: what would he do? There’s so much to do that she feels responsible for.”
Over the past year, many movies that were intended to be released in theaters have moved to streaming services. A Quiet Place Part II is one of the first films in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to be released exclusively in theaters. “I really feel like this movie is a theater experience,” Millicent told HollywoodLife in May 2021. “The sound is so important to the story. I also think it’s so much more thrilling to watch this with an audience. There’s something about sitting in a completely dark theater and just being surrounded by the sound. You feel like you’re there, going through this journey with the family.”
The young actress admitted that it was “really hard” to wait for the film to be released. “I’m so excited for people to be able to see it safely,” she added.
A Quiet Place Part II showcases even more of Millicent’s incredible talents in front of the camera. Her powerful performance truly carries the film from beginning to end. She is a force to be reckoned with. Millicent is determined to see more disability representation and inclusivity on both sides of the camera.
“I think that we have a very diverse disabled community. I want to know what their stories are,” Millicent told HollywoodLife. “They have lots of stories to tell. I want to see members of the community who are in front of and behind the camera — writers, producers, directors. I think it brings more consciousness to everyone, the more inclusive we are, and I think it just makes the world a better place for everyone.” A Quiet Place Part II will be released on May 28.