You don’t often think of Hollyoaks and Hollywood in the same sentence, right?
But one of the Channel 4 soap’s former stars has gone and proven everyone wrong by landing the ULTIMATE honour: a place on the Oscar nominations shortlist!
So, how did this happen? And, more importantly, just who is the star in question?
Well, it’s none other than Rachel Shenton – best known as Mitzeee Minniver – who could be sashaying up the red carpet alongside Brad, J-Law and Leo next year.
She wrote a short film called The Silent Child which has been listed among the ten contenders in the running for the Live Action Short Film gong at next year’s Academy Awards.
The ten contenders will be whittled down to just five ahead of the official Oscars nominations announcement in January.
There were a record 165 pictures in the running, before they were narrowed to just ten films.
The next stage will be members of the Short Films and Feature Animations Branch viewing each of the ten films and choosing the five finalists who will compete for the Academy Award.
Nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 23.
The actual Oscars take place on Sunday, March 4.
The Silent Child (directed by her fiance Chris Overton) is Rachel’s debut screenplay – so getting on the Oscars shortlist is pretty impressive!
It’s a film close to Rachel’s heart: the storyline revolves around a young girl who is profoundly deaf and lives in a “world of silence” until a social worker teaches her the gift of communication.
Speaking to Ent & Audiology News recently, she said: “It’s the most creatively satisfying thing I’ve ever done but I certainly can’t take all the credit; we have a fantastic team working on this project.
“It’s a beautiful story about a profoundly deaf four-year-old girl called Libby who is born to hearing parents, as 90 per cent of deaf children are.
“Sadly Libby’s parents don’t know how to best cater for her needs and she ends up going to a mainstream school and, thus, does not receive the necessary support.
“As I mentioned before, access to education is a big issue for me and one that needs addressing: I believe that film is a very powerful way to convey a message.”
Rachel’s father lost his hearing when she was twelve years old and lived the last two years of his life profoundly deaf.
She learned sign language and has since become an advocate for deaf awareness and ambassador of the National Deaf Children’s Society and DeafLinks.
Rachel reacted to her Oscars shortlist triumph by simply tweeting: “Very proud of this.”
As you should be!
The brunette left Hollyoaks in 2013 and moved to Los Angeles, where she landed a regular part in teen drama, Switched At Birth.
She can next be seen in the second series of BBC 2 comedy White Gold.
Of course, she’s not the only Chester star to be making waves across the pond: Nathalie Emmanuel (Sasha Valentine) currently stars in Game of Thrones, while Ricky Whittle (Calvin Valentine) stars in American Gods.