Wednesday, November 18, 2009
This is the first major role for severely deaf actress Genevieve Barr, who won the coveted role of Amelia while she was on the Teach First scheme, teaching in a challenging inner London secondary school. A graduate of Edinburgh University, Genevieve has recently filmed the role of Jessica in the sitcom pilot Comedy Showcase: The Amazing Dermot, which debuts on Channel 4 on the 4th December.
In The Silence, Amelia has recently been fitted with a cochlear implant, enabling her to hear, but she struggles to accept that she has a place in the hearing world.
Breaking free from her over-protective parents (Gina McKee – In The Loop, Fiona's Story and Hugh Bonneville – Ben Hur, Lost In Austen), she goes to stay with her party-loving cousins, homicide detective uncle Jim (Douglas Henshall – Collision, Primeval) and warm-hearted aunt Maggie (Dervla Kirwan – Ondine, Moving On).
Amelia witnesses the audacious murder of a policewoman, and is reluctantly propelled further into a loud and frightening world.
The Silence is about an ordinary family where something extraordinary happens. The teenagers' partying lifestyles and casual drug-taking collide with Jim's investigation, and all their lives are hurled into a cacophony of police corruption, betrayal, drugs, and murder.
Filming has just started in Dublin on the 4x60 episode drama and last night Genevieve said: "The Silence is a fantastic opportunity to explore life through a deaf person's eyes and I am thrilled to have been offered the role.
"I have my hands full with Amelia! I have had my first day of filming and it was exhausting but amazing playing my first scenes opposite Gina McKee, who plays my mother."
BBC One’s Polly Hill says: “The Silence is a compelling thriller but at its heart is the story of Amelia, a young deaf girl thrust into the unfamiliar and uncomfortable hearing world and unwittingly into the police investigation.
“It was really important that we cast an actress who was not only the best person for the role but could bring authenticity and diversity to the part. Genevieve Barr promises to be wonderful as Amelia."
The Silence is being made by Company Pictures – the outfit responsible for hit dramas such as ‘Shameless’, ‘Wild At Heart’ and the BAFTA award winning ‘Skins’.