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18 Oct

Letitia Wright Says June Gibbons Has Given ‘The Silent





In 1986, journalist Marjorie Wallace published a book titled The Silent Twins in regards to the lifetime of June and Jennifer Gibbons, equivalent sisters who only communicated with each other through their very own language. Born in Wales on April 11, 1963, the twins were sent to separate boarding schools as children to try to interrupt their isolating patterns. As teens, they were admitted to a high-security mental health hospital where they lived for 11 years after committing a series of crimes similar to petty theft and vandalism.

During those years and into young maturity, June and Jennifer wrote a series of fictional works not available to the general public before Jennifer’s death in 1993. Nonetheless, for the film adaptation of Wallace’s book, which carries the identical name, actresses Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance got access to those writings as they prepared to play the Gibbons sisters.

(L to R) Tamara Lawrance stars as Jennifer Gibbons and Letitia Wright stars as June Gibbons in director Agnieszka Smoczynska’s THE SILENT TWINS, a Focus Features release. Credit: Courtesy of Lukasz Bak/Focus Features

“Marjorie Wallace who wrote the book could be very near the family and he or she allowed us to return to her home and sit together with her and he or she showed us images and diary entries and personal archived information that shouldn’t be accessible to the general public and we’re really grateful for that,” Wright, who plays June within the film which was released today, tells ESSENCE.

“She has an important close connection to June and in that we were in a position to keep updated about how June was feeling. She’s very private and we would like to maintain respecting her privacy, but we’re honored that there’s a stamp of approval,” Wright adds. “There’s an appreciation for our version of the story that’s wealthy and that is filled with life and fully rounded. That’s something that the media didn’t do before and now we’re taking ownership of that and showing how beautiful these sisters are and I’m really pleased with that.”

Letitia Wright Says June Gibbons Has Given ‘The Silent Twins’ Her Stamp Of Approval

Each Wright and Lawrance grew up in London and say the duty of portraying real people on screen added to the load of their roles.

“There is a big honor and responsibility in depicting a real life story that we’ve to watch out to not make a caricature or bastardize an experience or judge your character,” says Lawrance. “It was fascinating to have the opportunity to get into the psyche of somebody that actually existed.”

Try our full interview with Wright and Lawrance within the video above.

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