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Sia Says Maddie Ziegler Was Worried About Playing A Special Needs Teen in 'Music'

Sia Says Maddie Ziegler Was Worried About Playing A Special Needs Teen in 'Music'

Sia is opening up more about the decision to cast Maddie Ziegler as an autistic teen in her upcoming movie, Music.

The 45-year-old musician revealed on Australia’s The Project program that it was not only ableism, but nepotism as well, that lead her to bring Maddie into the project.

“I realized it wasn’t ableism — I mean, it is ableism, I guess, as well — but it’s actually nepotism, because I can’t do a project without her, I don’t want to. I wouldn’t make art if it didn’t include her,” she said.

Sia also shared that Maddie was concerned about taking the role.

“She cried on the first day of rehearsals and she was really scared. She just said, ‘I don’t want anyone to think I’m making fun of them,’” Sia recalled. “And I, bald-facedly, said ‘I won’t let that happen.’ And last week I realized I couldn’t really protect her from that, which I thought I could.”

She went on, “…I’ve realized there are some things I can’t protect her from, as much as I try. I guess that’s like any mom or bonus mom would say.”

Sia came under fire just before the holidays as many took issue with Maddie playing a special needs teen.

“There is no way I could have used someone of Maddie’s level of functioning to play her,” Sia said during an interview. “I also needed a dancer, for [the character’s] imaginary life.”

Sia went on to defend Maddie‘s casting to fans on social media.

Here’s a synopsis of Music: Zu (Kate Hudson) is newly sober when she receives news that she is to become the sole guardian of her half-sister named Music (Ziegler), a young girl on the autism spectrum. The film explores two of Sia’s favorite themes: finding your voice and creating family.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Maddie Ziegler, Sia

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