Hawkeye Cast Learns ASL To Communicate With Actress Alaqua Cox
Marvel has been adding more diversity to their characters and casts recently (Makkari in Eternals was the first deaf superhero to grace the movie screen as part of the MCU and we saw Shang-Chi smash box office records as the first Asian-led superhero movie). Was this just jumping on the diversity bandwagon though? Thankfully, it doesn’t appear to be the case. With the release of the Disney+ Hawkeye series, viewers were introduced to Echo (alias: Maya Lopez), a deaf superhero played by Alaqua Cox. While we already know that Echo is getting her own Disney+ spinoff series, it was exciting to catch this first glimpse of her in Hawkeye. And in even more heartwarming news? Cox said that the Hawkeye cast learns ASL to communicate with her while on set!
Image via Disney+
Jeremy Renner, who has played Hawkeye in five MCU movies and is the titular character in this Disney+ series, is going deaf, so we’ve seen scenes of him communicating with ASL. Hailee Steinfeld, who plays Kate Bishop, has also learned some ASL, probably as one more way to communicate with both Hawkeye and Echo. It’s heartening to see representation of the deaf community in the MCU and as Cox can attest to, it makes for a welcoming work experience. In an interview with Disney’s D23 magazine via The Direct, Cox said:
“It was such an honor to work with them both. I think they are spectacular actors, and I have learned a lot from watching them work behind the scenes … I remember meeting Jeremy on my first day of work on-set; I was a nervous wreck, as this was my very first acting job. He then complimented me in American Sign Language (ASL), which comforted me. Hailee also spelled out her name to me in ASL at the studio where we were doing our stunt training sessions. I thought it was sweet of them putting in efforts to learn basic ASL to communicate with me. It means a lot to me as a Deaf person.”
Maya Lopez was first introduced, she was created as an adversary to Daredevil. Raised by Kingpin, he told her that Daredevil killed her father, using that to fuel her need for revenge. Given the rumors that Charlie Cox was going to play Daredevil in the Echo spinoff series, it seems as if Marvel is looking to fill out more of Maya’s origin story and history.
Hawkeye is currently streaming on Disney+.
How sweet is it that the Hawkeye cast learns ASL? Do you think Marvel is doing a good job with the representation and diversity of their characters and stories? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image via Disney+
Keilin Huang is a freelance writer that likes the Oxford comma, reading from her neverending pile of books from the library, and Reeses peanut butter cups. She thanks her Dad for introducing her to his Superman comics and probably majored in Journalism because of Lois Lane. Contact her at [email protected]