Fourteen-year-old Maddie Ziegler’s acting debut in the film Book of Henry has been highly anticipated ever since she announced she would be starring in it. Once Abby Lee Miller’s favorite on the hit Lifetime series Dance Moms, Maddie Ziegler is now branching out into other ventures, and the trailer has just dropped for the new film.
Book of Henry, which also stars Hollywood heavyweights Naomi Watts, Sarah Silverman, and Jacob Tremblay, focuses on a young child genius named Henry, played by Jaeden Liberher. Henry’s character helps his mother, Susan, in every way possible and acts as the man of the house. And while the film could divulge into a quirky coming-of-age film for Henry’s character, instead, the focus shifts to Maddie Ziegler’s character, Christina.
Maddie takes on the dark role of the abused classmate, and Henry and his mother embark on a mission to save her. This is Maddie Ziegler’s first big acting role, and a big one to take on at that.
In an interview with Mario Lopez, Maddie Ziegler revealed that she was a little bit nervous coming to the set, especially shooting her first film amongst so many seasoned actors. She laughed that even little Jacob Tremblay was a seasoned veteran compared to her.
Maddie Ziegler’s dance training and role as Sia’s proxy in her music videos and public appearances helped her tremendously in the role, and Ziegler says some fans may be surprised at how dark it is.
According to the trailer and several media outlets, the role isn’t strictly acting, and Maddie Ziegler will get to show off her dancing chops in the film.
The director of the film, Colin Trevorrow, spoke about Maddie Ziegler’s role and how her dancing played a crucial part in the plot.
“Only Maddie would’ve been able to emote through her body, and emote through her art, in the way that she does in the end of this movie. The whole climax of the movie really is structured around her dance and she does a beautiful job,” he said.
It is unclear if the part was written specifically with Maddie Ziegler in mind or if it was just coincidence that they needed a dancer and she fit the bill.
The movie’s director is hoping the film will bring awareness to the hush-hush topic of domestic violence, which Maddie Ziegler’s character, Christina, struggles with throughout the story. To make matters worse for the character, her stepfather, Glenn, is the town’s chief of police, making it necessary for Henry and his mother to intervene.
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) October 5, 2015
Although this is Maddie Ziegler’s feature film debut as a live-action actress, she previously had a major role in the animated movie Ballerina. She voiced the role of Camille Le Haut, the nemesis of protagonist Felice (voiced by Elle Fanning). Maddie Ziegler previously stated for that role, she had to find a way to be mean to the actress, as she wasn’t used to being rude to girls. She joked that she channeled fighting with her younger sister, Dance Moms alum Mackenzie Ziegler.
While it has not been reported that Maddie Ziegler has taken on any more new film roles, it is possible she will sharpen her acting skills with upcoming performances. However, it looks like she’s enjoying her new YouTube channel, promoting Book of Henry, and the success of her New York Times bestselling book The Maddie Diaries.
Fans of Dance Moms hope that Maddie Ziegler returns to the series, especially after the departure of her old dance teacher and coach Abby Lee Miller. The 14-year-old has previously stated she would never return to the show, but now that Miller is gone, will Maddie take it back?
[Featured Image by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Images]