Lauren Ridloff On Playing Marvel’s First Deaf Superhero


Lauren Ridloff opened up about what it means for her to play Marvel’s first deaf superhero in Eternals.

Throughout the last decade, Marvel Studios has continuously made strides to improve how diverse and accommodating their films are. Some of their biggest hits like Black Panther and Captain Marvel, and now Shang-Chi, were all created with the mindset to be as accessible and inclusive as possible. Now, with Chloe Zhao’s Eternals, Marvel is set to debut its first deaf superhero with Makkari, played by Lauren Ridloff.

Lauren Ridloff is currently a major player in AMC’s The Walking Dead and was last seen in Riz Ahmed’s The Sound of Metal, a film that puts the spotlight on the deaf community. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Ridloff opened up about what it meant for her and her children to play a deaf superhero for Marvel.

“My two boys, who are also deaf, will grow up in a world where there are superheroes who are deaf… it means they’ll be able to dream a bit more wildly.”

Naturally, there were some challenges along the way, and Ridloff candidly discussed how difficult it was to receive cues on set as a deaf person. As filming went on, her castmate Angelina Jolie came up with an easy solution to make things easier.

“In some scenes, I had to face a wall. As a deaf person, how do you cue me? At one point, I was sharing my frustration with Angelina Jolie. And she immediately made a suggestion: why don’t we use a laser pen that special effects can easily erase?”

“It was an ‘Aha, wow’ moment. Whenever I’m looking at a wall, the interpreters would use a laser pen to make a circle on the wall — ‘rolling, rolling, rolling’ — and once it went away that meant, ‘Action!’”

Eternals is also making huge strides with the LGBTQ community as Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos is set to be the first gay superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s great to see Marvel become more and more inclusive as time goes on.

Often defending Earth from their monstrous counterparts, the Eternals became embroiled in a civil war amongst themselves over whether or not they should conquer the other races. One faction was led by Kronos and the other by his warlike brother named Uranos, with Kronos’ side ultimately winning the conflict while Uranos and his followers were exiled.

Chloé Zhao is directing Eternals from a script written by Matthew and Ryan Firpo. The cast of the Marvel Studios project includes Gemma Chan as Sersi, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, Salma Hayek as Ajak and Angelina Jolie as Thena.

Eternals is set to hit theaters on November 5, 2021. Stay tuned for the latest news regarding the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content!

Source: The New York Times



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