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Emilia is shooting to fame after her acclaimed role as Ruby Rossi in the Apple+ film Coda. In the coming of age film, Ruby is a child of deaf adults (known as CODA) trying to escape her hometown with her talent for singing.
To prepare for the role Emilia studied ASL sign language for nine months, practising during any of her spare time. She was taught ASL by a deaf teacher, Anselmo DeSousa, and talking about the experience to Glamour she said: “It’s an experience that no hearing person can ever fully understand. Working with Anselmo, I couldn’t really talk and had to sign in order to communicate. It pushed me and made me learn faster. He was so patient and kind.”
Emilia found out she got the role while in Toronto with her dad Aled, mum Claire, and younger brother Lucas. She said: “My dad, mum, and brother were actually in Toronto with me when I found out, so we all went out to dinner. And then I went straight into ASL lessons. I was so excited.”
She also took singing lessons for the role, with her voice compared to folk-pop singer Maggie Roberts and has been nominated against Lady Gaga, Joanna Scanlan and Tessa Thompson for Best Actress.
Emilia was “blown away” to have received the BAFTA nomination and “never in a million years” did she think she would be considered against “such talented nominees”.
She has already won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role in Coda, earlier in 2022, and will be starring in the psychological thriller Cat Person as her next big role, which is out this year.
Before starring in Coda Emilia played and continues to play Kinsey Locke in the Netflix fantasy horror drama Locke & Key and is set to star in the third series of the show.
Emilia has acted since a young age, with her first role at the age of eight in the film One Day. She has also been in the Channel 4 drama Utopia, the popular BBC show Doctor Who and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
She currently lives in southwest London, with her family, and also plays the guitar to add to her list of never-ending talents.
The BAFTAs will air on BBC One on Sunday, March, 12 from 7pm.
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