Kiera Allen is a 22-year-old actor and writer. She co-stars in Run with Sarah Paulson of American Horror Story fame. The film, premiering on Hulu on Nov. 20, is a psychological horror marking an important milestone: It’s the first major thriller to star a real wheelchair user in over 70 years.
Allen spoke with In The Know about her passion for acting, being a disabled actor and how Run is different from other stories about wheelchair users.
“It’s a psychological thriller about a teenage girl, played by me, who begins to suspect that her mother may have a dark secret and about the way their relationship evolves because of that,” Allen said.
As a wheelchair user, Allen is proud to take on the role because it humanizes someone with a disability — which is unfortunately not too common in Hollywood.
“I’m a person,” Allen said. “Disability is part of my identity, but it’s a part. I’m many other things. And that’s what I saw in Chloe as well, whose identity as disabled is central to the movie, but it’s not the movie. I’d never seen anything like Run before in creating a character that was so many things in that way.”
Allen was interested in acting and writing from a young age. Once she learned it was a job to make all those movies she loved as a kid, she was hooked.
“Growing up, the message I got from the world was, I can do this, there’s a place for me in this,” Allen said. “Then, you know, when I became disabled, I was kind of like, well, I can still do this, like, that hasn’t changed.”
The actress hopes to tell stories that highlight disabled characters.
“If you’re going to tell stories that are true to this world that we live in, you have to tell stories about the people that live in this world,” Allen said. “That’s one of the reasons this movie is so exciting — because stories about disabled people are not often told and are not often told with this much authenticity.”
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