Rachel Shenton has discussed her Oscar glory once more, as she revealed the inside secrets of her drama/short film, The Silent Child.
The 30-year-old, who first found fame playing Mitzeee Minniver in Hollyoaks, scooped the coveted gong last month for the movie – co-directed by her fiancé Chris Overton – about a profoundly deaf four-year-old, played by Maisie Sly.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Friday, she revealed her mum hosted a bake sale to raise money to make the movie, she was concerned about signing her whole speech and insisted little Maisie ‘is so much cooler than her’.
Rachel made the film about a profoundly deaf four-year-old after watching her late father go deaf two years before he died, when she was just 14.
She previously said: ‘He’s the reason I learned sign language and got involved with the deaf community. He was the person I was thinking of up on stage, wishing so badly he was watching me from the audience. I know he’d be incredibly proud.’
Maisie, from Swindon auditioned for the role after her parents replied to a post on Facebook appealing for a deaf child who communicates through sign language.
During her Oscar glory, she signed her entire acceptance speech yet confessed she was concerned about conveying the words seamlessly.
Happy days: Rachel (pictured with fiancé Chris Overton) is clearly in disbelief over the win as she joyously discussed the news on GMB
Sweet: The 30-year-old, who first found fame playing Mitzeee Minniver in Hollyoaks, scooped the coveted gong last month for the movie – co-directed by her fiancé Chris Overton – about a profoundly deaf four-year-old, played by Maisie Sly
Honour: Speaking on Good Morning Britain on Friday, she revealed her mum hosted a bake sale to raise money to make the movie, she was concerned about signing her whole speech and insisted little Maisie ‘is so much cooler than her’
She said: ‘It’s still surreal that they [Oscars] belong to us… I didn’t regret signing [my acceptance speech], but was worried I wouldn’t manage to sign it all. But I managed. It was a close subject to my heart.’
On funding the movie, she and Chris discussed how short films are notoriously difficult to make, as he revealed: ‘My mum and Rachel’s mum did a cake sale [to raise money]. They’re sick of cupcakes now.’
On Maisie, she said: ‘Little Maisie is so much cooler than we are about this. So much more excited to go to Disneyland the day after the Oscars.’
Can’t stop smiling! Clearly basking in her Oscars joy, Rachel was beaming during her appearance on the show
Speaking of first coming up with the idea, she said: ‘I had the idea when I was in my bedroom living in LA. Chris said, write it, if it’s rubbish we can delete it and no one ever has to know. I never dreamt that this could happen.
‘There is no support, a limited amount of resources out there and a lack of awareness about this subject.’
Adding: ‘Being at the first post-Weinstein Oscars was amazing. It felt like there’s a spotlight on diversity. It’s really important to remember that disability, including deafness, is diversity.’
Inspiring: Rachel wrote the short film in her bedroom, without financial incentive and crowdfunded the project for nine months
The now six-year-old, plays Libby, a deaf child born into a hearing family who struggle to cope with her condition.
Picking up her Oscar, Rachel conducted her whole speech in sign language as she didn’t want Maisie to have to take her eyes off the stage to look at her interpreter.
Afterwards, she was invited to party with the A-listers at the swanky Vanity Fair bash, but she skipped it after five minutes to be with her family.
She said: ‘We rushed off to celebrate with our families and team back at our apartment. It was really important that we got back and showed them the award.’
Rachel wrote the short film in her bedroom, without financial incentive and crowdfunded the project for nine months.
It cost £10,000 to make and is now in more than 600 cinemas in the US.
Sensational: Rachel has come a long way from her days of playing Mitzeee Minniver in Hollyoaks