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Sia Discusses Feeling 'Protective' of Maddie Ziegler and Hiring Her 24-Hour Security

Sia is opening up about feeling protective of her frequent collaborator Maddie Ziegler.

The 45-year-old singer-songwriter got candid about her experience with fame in a new episode of Sirius XM‘s Fierce: Women in Music on Friday (January 29).

“I had to just learn really, really good boundaries,” the “Chandelier” singer explained.

“And now I’m really good at it and if somebody wants to say hello I’m totally comfortable with that, if they want to take a photo it depends on what the situation is but I’m either totally comfortable doing that or I’ll say actually I don’t want anyone to know that we’re here, so how about a hug.”

Sia also said that she is “fiercely protective” of Maddie. “I provide her 24 hour security because I feel responsible for her ensuing fame,” she shared.

She revealed that often she will decline photos on Maddie‘s behalf if she gets the sense the former Dance Moms star is feeling overwhelmed.

“I can tell from Maddie‘s face whether she wants to do it or she doesn’t,” Sia said. “And so I either say, ‘No, you know, we’re not supposed to be in town’ or ‘We’re not doing photos today’ or ‘Actually we’re just having some family time.’”

However, Sia also added that she believes Maddie is “much better at being famous” than she is.

Sia came under scrutiny recently for casting Maddie as an autistic character in her upcoming film Musicshe defended her choice in a series of tweets.

Kate Hudson & Maddie Ziegler Star In Vibrant Trailer For Sia's Upcoming Film 'Music'

Kate Hudson pulls in Maddie Ziegler for a hug in the brand new trailer for their upcoming film, Music.

Sia debuted the first teaser for the movie, which has been met with some controversy in the past few months.

Also starring Leslie Odom, Jr., Music enters on Kazoo (Hudson), a free-spirited woman who suddenly becomes the sole guardian of her half sister (Ziegler).

Earlier today, Sia released the first song from the film’s soundtrack called “Hey Boy” with Burna Boy.

The movie, which Sia will direct, is set to debut on February 12 in a special limited theatrical release by IMAX.

Kate, who was a surprise casting switch from the original plan, was also seen out in Los Angeles on Friday (January 15), walking a Doberman Pinscher dog around the neighborhood.

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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.

Sia Defends Choice to Cast Maddie Ziegler as Autistic Character in 'Music'

Sia is defending her decision to cast Maddie Ziegler as a character with autism in her upcoming movie Music.

Following the trailer’s release last month, Sia faced criticism for casting a non-autistic actress, Maddie, as a character with autism, as well as partnering with Autism Speaks, a company that has faced controversy and condemnation for alleged exploitative practices in the past.

“There is no way I could have used someone of Maddie’s level of functioning to play her,” Sia said during an interview on Wednesday (Decmeber 16) with an Australian publication (via ET). “I also needed a dancer, for [the character’s] imaginary life.”

Here’s a synopsis of the movie: 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.

Click inside to see how Sia originally responded to the backlash back in November…More Here! »

Maddie Ziegler, Sabrina Carpenter, & Sofia Carson Look So Chic at MTV Movie & TV Awards 2020!

Some of Young Hollywood’s hottest stars are in attendance at the 2020 MTV Movie & TV Awards: Greatest of All Time!

Maddie Ziegler, Sabrina Carpenter, and Sofia Carson were all seen on the red carpet at the event, which is airing on Sunday night (December 6).

The ladies are all presenters for the event and other presenters who were there included Peyton List and Cobra Kai stars Xolo Maridueña and Jacob Bertrand.

The 90-minute special will honor the biggest and best moments in film and TV from the 80s until now.

Click inside to see full length photos of the stars at the event… More Here! »

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Sia Responds to Criticism for Portrayal of Autism in Upcoming Film 'Music'

Sia is reacting to criticism of her upcoming movie.

The “Chandelier” superstar responded to some social media outcry following the release of the trailer for her upcoming movie, Music, which stars Kate Hudson and Maddie Ziegler.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Sia

“I want you to work every day knowing that we’re trying to show love for all of the caregivers, and for all of the people on the autism spectrum, that this movie is for them. If we can keep our egos out of it, that would be great,” Sia said while making the film.

She called Maddie “the most professional person I’ve ever worked with” during a recent Variety interview, describing her character “non-verbal and she has a little echolalia who can repeat what you say to her, but she doesn’t generate her own language.” She also admitted she was scared to address her diagnosis directly at first “because if I made it clear [what her diagnosis was, then I might offend somebody.]”

Following the trailer’s release, Sia faced some criticism for casting non-autistic actress Maddie as a character with autism, as well as partnering with Autism Speaks, a company that has faced controversy and condemnation for alleged exploitative practices in the past.

“Grrrrrrrrrr. F–kity f–k why don’t you watch my film before you judge it? FURY,” she wrote on Twitter on Friday (November 20).

“I cast thirteen neuroatypical people, three trans folk, and not as f–king prostitutes or drug addicts but s as doctors, nurses and singers. F–king sad nobody’s even seen the dang movie. My heart has always been in the right place,” she wrote.

“Duh. I spent three f–king years researching, I think that’s why I’m so f–king bummed,” she said in response to being asked if she researched the autism community beforehand.

“Autism speaks came on board long after the film was finished, four years in fact. I had no idea it was such a polarizing group!” she went on to explain.

“Several autistic actors, myself included, responded to these tweets. We all said we could have acted in it on short notice. These excuses are just that- excuses. The fact of the matter is zero effort was made to include anyone who is actually autistic.
#NothingAboutUsWithoutUs,” one person wrote.

“Maybe you’re just a bad actor,” she responded to the actor.

“I love Maddie Ziegler, don’t get me wrong, but you need to consult actual autistic people and have autistic people play autistic people,” another person wrote.

“I did try. It felt more compassionate to use Maddie. That was my call,” she said.

Click here to find out more about the film.

Click inside to see Sia’s response…More Here! »

Kate Hudson Stars in Sia's New Movie 'Music' - Watch First Teaser!

Kate Hudson will be showing off her musical talents in the upcoming movie music, which was written and directed by Sia!

The first teaser trailer for the movie was just released and it also features dancer Maddie Ziegler, who plays the title character, and Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr.

Here is the film’s synopsis: Kate “plays Zu, a newly sober drug dealer and self-saboteur who finds herself the sole guardian of her half-sister, Music (Ziegler), a teenager with special needs. Barely able to take care of herself, let alone her sister, Zu struggles with this new responsibility, but soon learns that life’s obstacles are made easier with a little help from a friend, Ebo (Odom Jr.), a neighbor whose own family story makes him someone Zu can learn from and rely upon. The film explores the tenuous bonds that hold us together and imagines a world where those bonds can be strengthened in times of great challenge.”

Music featured 10 original songs that Sia wrote for the film. The movie will be released in early 2021 and Sia‘s album Music, which features songs from and inspired by the movie, is out on February 12, 2021.