Recently, on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,’ Alaqua Cox discussed her role as the deaf Indigenous superhero Echo in Marvel’s new miniseries released on January 9. She shared her experience working with Vincent D’Onofrio and how a special device used to cue her lines led to some surprises during the filming of intense scenes:
“So, it’s really interesting. Obviously, as you mentioned, his character [Kingpin] does not know sign language, and I was not sure when he was finished with his line. So, the interpreting team had an idea, and they come up with this idea where we used a vibration device, and we would put it in my shirt, and when he was done with his line, the interpreter would have control of it, and they would push the remote to let me know it’s my turn.”
The deaf actress went on:
“But during the emotional scenes, it would scare me sometimes. I’m so focused on these emotional scenes, right? It was so bad. Oh my gosh! I try to focus on these emotions, but, yeah, it scared me. But I hope it looks good on the screen.”
The Actress’ First Acting Experience
Before her role in ‘Echo,’ Cox played Maya Lopez in 2021’s ‘Hawkeye.’ The Native American actress revealed that she wasn’t initially eager to audition for the role but decided to try it after her friends insisted.
Talking about how she approached her part in the MCU as a new actress during a chat with Variety, Cox explained:
“They were able to hire deaf people behind the camera who helped me out. I had an ASL consultant who was deaf on set, and he helped me with the translation of English into ASL of my lines. I also had a deaf acting coach and a deaf personal trainer. I told [Marvel] that I would like to be able to have one-on-one conversations with them instead of going through an interpreter. And they actually made it happen.”
Cox’s Co-Stars Helped Her During The Production
The 26-year-old also mentioned that the cast and crew’s approach to ASL helped her during the filming of ‘Echo.’ She revealed that the team agreed to take two or three ASL classes a week upon her request to accommodate her on-set:
“So, when I arrived on set, I was greeted with, ‘Hello, how are you?’ in sign. It was the basics, but it was so nice to be able to communicate. It made me feel way more comfortable and welcomed. We had three or four ASL interpreters on set at one time, and all the interpreters were amazing. They helped me communicate with people who weren’t as savvy with ASL. We made it work all together.
You can check out Alaqua Cox’s recent interview in the video below.