A 10-year-old actress from Aldergrove made her chilling debut this month as a real-life abductee alongside famous actress Alyson Hannigan.
Daphne Hoskins – a Grade 5 student – played 8-year-old Beth, the daughter of high school teacher Mary Stauffer (played by Hannigan) who was abducted alongside her mother by a disturbed former student and held in captivity for 53 days.
The production, Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story, first released on Oct. 5 on Lifetime TV network, explored the Minnesota mother and daughter’s terrifying kidnapping in 1980.
It was two straight weeks of filming on set in Maple Ridge for the movie, Daphne said.
“In 16 days of filming she worked 15,” her mother, Carrie, said – which was her most extensive role to date. It required tapping into a paralyzing state of fear for the child actress.
Daphne kept a prop from the film, a missing persons pin, on her desk. Inside it is a picture of her and Hannigan as Stauffer mother and daughter.
Daphne was initially starstruck by Hannigan, who acted as her favourite character Lily Aldrin, in the TV show How I Met Your Mother.
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Abducted: The Mary Stauffer Story premiered last night on @lifetimetv in the USA, for us Canadians it will be on Lifetime next Sunday October 13th. It is based on an amazing true story of Mary and Beth Stauffer who are a Mother and Daughter that were abducted and held for 53 days. The best part is these amazing women didn’t let the horrible things that happened take away their joy. They are strong and brave and true role models! @alysonhannigan and @howielai87 give amazing performances! Not suitable for young children because of some scary scenes. #themarystaufferstory #rippedfromtheheadlines
Carrie used Daphne’s role as Beth, and others she has acted out that tell of trauma, as teachable moments for her daughter.
“We went over the script together,” Mom said. “I explained what it meant, as well as how she can keep herself safe and make sure that it doesn’t happen to [her].”
In one scene, the abductor played by Howie Lai, threatened Beth (Daphne) to put a plastic bag on her head, as well as throw her back into the closet they were chained inside before their escape.
Daphne said she wasn’t fazed by Lai’s yelling, but mustered up fear in her gut enough to play the terrified child.
Regardless, Carrie said, The Mary Stauffer Story showcases about the strength of the mother-and-daughter-duo and how they “didn’t let horrible things that once happened take away their joy.”
Since the film’s debut, Beth Stauffer herself contacted Daphne on social media, telling her that she did an amazing job.
Daphne was on the verge of tears after reading the heartfelt message.
In 2018, she was nominated for a Joey Award for the best supporting actress (ages five to nine) in a short film, for her work as an abducted child in The Pitch.
Daphne began acting when she was just seven years old. She came home from school, hung up her jacket and said, “Mom, can I be on TV?”
Her mother Carrie, has supported Daphne’s dream ever since, through filming roles in various locations, acting classes, and many more auditions – most which are held in Vancouver and require a long commute.
“And you don’t get a lot of notice for the auditions,” Carrie said, “we could find out now that she has an audition tomorrow.”
“It’s a lot of juggling,” the mother said. “There are more auditions that we don’t get than what we do get.”
In her first year of professional acting, Daphne landed a Shaw BlueSky TV commercial as her first-ever paid gig in February. Her next role, was in a Canadian Tire Olympic commercial in November.
As a way to gain more experience, Daphne used non-paid student films, written and directed by college students at the University of British Columbia and Langara College, to bolster her acting resume.
“What do we always say?” Carrie asked her daughter while the two sat together in her room.
“It’s not a competition,” Daphne replied.
“Because everyone is different,” her mom added. “They could want someone with blue eyes, and you don’t have blue eyes.”
“It doesn’t mean they don’t like your acting,” Daphne added.
“For kids it is a lot about matching, because your look has to match the parents,” Carrie said.
And for Daphne – a pale-complexioned 10-year-old with bright red hair, brown eyes and freckles – it can be quite the challenge.
“The casting directors always want them to have red-headed parents for some reason,” the mother laughed, though her and her husband are both brunettes.
Carrie said Daphne works incredibly hard, and has not taken one day off from her Saturday acting class for the past three years at the Leblanc School of Acting in Vancouver.
“We’re very proud of her. We’ve tried her in a lot of activities over the years but this is the only one that ever stuck,” mom said.
Daphne is allowed to spend 10 per cent of her earnings on everyday purchases.
The rest is tucked safely away in her college fund, or put back into acting classes or other things that serve her passion.
Aside from her budding acting career, Daphne is just a regular child.
She plays sports including rugby, because her 16-year-old sister did. And wants to be a psychologist for the same reason.
The Hoskins family now awaits the release of a few other on-screen debuts their youngest has filmed, one which includes a role alongside another famous actress in a Netflix series.