Rachel Shenton: 12 Things You Didn’t Know About the Movie Star
Rachel Shenton has won the hearts of movie lovers all over the world since her breakthrough performance as an aspiring glamour model, Mitzeee Minniver, in the TV drama series Hollyoaks. However, little is known about the British actress and that is why we’ve scoured the internet to gather 12 facts that you didn’t know about Rachel Shenton.
Before the Fame
Though the British actress shot to fame when she starred in Hollyoaks, Rachel Joy Shenton started acting way before then. Shenton started out at the Edinburgh fringe festival where her play received critical acclaim.
She starred in several TV commercials including Sega Superstars Tennis, the Ministry of Defence, and DFS.
The actress was also featured in the short films Doctors and Agnosia. Her first feature film was the 2005 movie Xlitherman where she was cast as Shade Girl. Four years later, Shenton also starred as Anya in the feature film Money Kills, which happened to be the movie that brought attention to her acting skills.
Before long, the actress landed the Mitzeee Minniver role in Hollyoaks, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Shenton Didn’t Learn British Sign Language While Shooting Silent Child
This may come as a shock, but the actress already knew the ins and outs of the British sign language long before she took on the role of Joanne Scott in, the deaf child, in the movie Silent Child. According to reports, Shenton started learning sign language after her dad became deaf due to chemotherapy.
Shenton wanted to eliminate communication barriers with her dad, thus she became fluent in the BSL and even went on to study the American Sign Language. This helped her to play Lily Summers, the teacher who could sign both the ASL and BSL, in the ABC Series Switched at Birth.
She represents Deaf People
Though her father passed on before her 15th birthday, Shenton has not ceased to work with deaf people. The British actress has been an ambassador for the National Deaf Children’s Society since 2011 and has helped Action for Hearing Loss raise money by climbing London’s BT Tower.
Other fundraising activities the actress has undertaken to support the National Deaf Children’s Society include skydiving in 2011 and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2012. Reports indicate that Shenton helped to launch Viewtalk, a networking website tailored to deaf people.
Shenton Shares Similar Traits With Helen Alderson
In an interview with the online magazine Masterpiece, Shenton revealed that she had similar character traits to Helen Alderson, her role in the TV series, All Creatures Great and Small. Helen Alderson is an independent hardworking woman who loves animals and is the love interest of James Herriot.
When she was asked whether she was a difference between her character and her real-life persona, the actress said, “I’d like to think I’m principled, and I’d like to think that I do the right thing as much as I can, things like that. She [Helen] likes simplicity I guess, and there are similarities there. I like to keep things quite simple in my life or in my wants. So, I guess that we’re similar in that way. And we both love animals as well, and we’ve both got great wardrobes, although hers is better than mine.”
Meanwhile, She’s the Complete Opposite of Mitzeee Minniver in Hollyoaks
In an interview, Rachel Shenton confessed that her character in Hollyoaks was dissimilar to her in many ways. According to the British actress, “Mitzeee is the opposite of me and is a wacko wannabe WAG and quite manipulative. She’ll definitely be stirring things up and wreaking some havoc.”
Rachel starred as Mitzeee for 235 episodes between 2010 and 2013 and she aptly captured the character’s quest for fame and ruthlessness in getting her own way. Reports indicate that the actress also had a hand in forming the backstory of the character which was why she was able to interpret it so well.
People Say Shenton Looks Like Cheryl Cole
Some news outlets have claimed that the actress shared a striking resemblance with English singer Cheryl Cole. When asked whether she had heard the rumor during an interview with Digital Spy, this is what Shenton had to say, “…The Cheryl Cole thing has been mentioned in a couple of interviews but I’d never been mistaken for her before I landed the role of Mitzeee. It’s so bizarre!”
The actress then concluded, “I guess I can see when the make-up goes on, the big hair gets curled and all the rest of it, people can see a resemblance but on the street day today, it’s never happened. It’s definitely very flattering – she’s so beautiful but it’s not something I’m trying to do day-to-day, I’m just me!”
She’s An Academy Award Winner
Shenton’s movie, The Silent Child won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film at the 2018 Oscars. The film was created and produced by the actress in conjunction with her husband Christ Overton and it featured a 6-year-old Maisie Sly as the protagonist. According to the actress, the film was based on her experiences as a child with a deaf parent.
Instead of reading her acceptance speech, the British actress preferred to sign instead and this is what she signed, “I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that I would sign this speech. My hands are shaking a little bit so I apologize.”
The actress continued, “The film is about a deaf child being born into a world of silence,” she continued. “It’s not exaggerated or sensationalized for the movie, this is happening. Millions of children all over the world live in silence and face communication barriers and particularly access to education.”
Shenton has also won an award for Best Actress in a movie at the 2019 New Renaissance Film festival and the 2020 Bristol Independent Film Festival.
Her First Role on American Screens Was in the Drama Series Switched at birth
Shenton played Lily Summers, a character well-versed in the American Sign and British Sign Languages. The series is around the story of two sisters who were switched at birth leading to them being brought up by two separate families.
Produced by Pirates’ Cove Entertainment, the TV show is the highest-rated series to debut on ABC Family to date having one honorary Peabody Award in 2013. Rachel Shenton shot 18 episodes for the hit series before the show ended in 2017.
Rachel Shenton Does Voiceovers
The 34-year-old actress also does voiceovers as part of her wide range of skillset. Projects she has worked on include the films NSPCC Eye Opener, Bulldog Broadband, and Selston Cosmetic Clinic where she was the presenter.
Is Rachel Shenton Married?
Yes, the alluring superstar is married to British filmmaker Chris Overton with whom she created the short film The Silent Child.