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Seven-year-old girl overcomes blindness to land lead role in Netflix series starring Hollywood big names




She was born with an eye disease that has claimed one in six billion people for her diagnosis. But little Nell Sutton overcame blindness to land a starring role in a Netflix miniseries, rubbing shoulders with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

In 2021, we told the story of the seven-year-old girl, born with congenital glaucoma, following her father Paul, who lost his sight to glaucoma as a teenager. You can find out more about this by clicking here.

But young Gwynedd, a student at Ysgol Craig y Deryn, didn’t let adversity get in the way of her dreams, and she’s just achieved something quite remarkable. She will fly to Budapest in Hungary to film alongside Mark Ruffalo and Hugh Laurie after landing a key role in a show based on the book All The Light We Cannot See, after impressing Stranger Things director Shawn Levy, who said the youngster had “an effervescence”. and a joyous presence that is contagious, on and off screen.”

READ MORE:The little girl who loses her sight – but overcomes adversity and tackles home learning like a pro

Rachel Sutton reading Welsh Braille with her daughter Nell, five, at her home in Gwynedd
(Image: Guide Dogs)

The family uses nurturing techniques to help Nell around the house
(Photo: Rachel Sutton)

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anthony Doerr, Nell will play a youthful version of the main character Marie-Laure, a blind girl who, together with a young German soldier, tries to survive in occupied France during the war. Get stories like this straight to your inbox with our newsletters.

Nell’s mother Rachel Sutton said: Nells has certainly never been shy and likes to try anything. She never sees her blindness as a problem. I knew she was special but I didn’t expect her to be so amazing. We knew there would be huge challenges, but I always told her she could do anything.

Nell will play alongside Mark Ruffalo
(Image: Getty Images)

This won’t be the first time Nell has had a starring role on the small screen. In the summer of 2020, she starred in a national advertising campaign for the charity Guide Dogs. Enjoying her experience, she saw a casting call for a blind girl on a TV show and sent intro tapes, which led to a Zoom audition with Mr. Levy two months later.

She said: He’s the man who made Stranger Things, the Night at the Museum series, a true Hollywood blockbuster.

Ms Sutton added: Shell will be watched by tens if not hundreds of millions of people to celebrate and show visual impairment in a positive light. Nell knows her blindness is part of who she is, but it doesn’t define her. She can be anything she wants to be.

Nells one star for the Guide Dogs Make Every Day Count campaign. Learn more here.




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