themighty logo

Kate Hudson and Maddie Ziegler Star in Sia's Upcoming Film About an Autistic Teen


Singer Sia Furler is taking off her usual wig and putting a new cap on, directing her first feature film. It’s a musical called “Sister” and will star 15-year-old Maddie Ziegler as an autistic teen.

Ziegler, who starred in the reality show “Dance Moms,” has danced in numerous music videos for Sia. In this role, Ziegler, who is not autistic, plays the younger sister under the care of her sober but drug-dealing sister, played by Kate Hudson.

Furler told Rolling Stone that the film is about “finding your voice and creating your own family,” which are two major aspects of Sia’s life. Furler is the lead writer for the film along with children’s author Dallas Clayton. The film will premiere some time next year, according to Rolling Stone.

Though Furler has recorded many songs for films, this is her first time directing a movie. Furler told Rolling Stone people might see the whole thing as a “vanity project,” but she was willing to take a risk and try something new.

“A lot of people in my industry have to do the same things over and over because it’s what people want,” she told Rolling Stone. “I’ve tried to work out ways to make this fun and to see what I can get away with, essentially.”

Autism has gained popularity in Hollywood with shows like “The Good Doctor” and “Atypical.” Most characters on the autism spectrum are played by neurotypical actors. Less than 2 percent of characters on television have a disability despite 20 percent of the population having one, according to the Ruderman Family Foundation. When disabled characters are created, most roles go to able-bodied actors.

The Mighty has reached out to representatives for Furler for more information and has yet to hear back.

Header images via Twitter.