Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) made some bold experiments with ‘Eternals’, which was released earlier this month. One of the most profound contributions made by the American superhero film is in the sign language sector. Lauren Ridloff played the first-ever deaf superhero and her character Makkari has garnered plaudits from fans the world over. Lauren, best known for playing Connie in ‘The Walking Dead’, communicates in Marvel’s latest film using signs. It has been found that the film and her character have resulted in a significant rise in people wanting to learn sign language. The super fast immortal has proven how a deaf character can be a boon with their inclusion in huge blockbuster movies. Makkari’s role has provided much-needed focus and visibility to the deaf community. As per a report in The Independent, the desire has remarkably flourished since Lauren’s character was announced. The report cited a review of Preply, a language e-learning platform, which claims a 250 per cent increase in online searches for ‘learn sign language for beginners.’ Being deaf in real life, Lauren feels overwhelmed to see the scale of impact her character has had on the world. On Twitter, the actress expressed her joy and urged people to learn sign language.
This is great. Do learn sign language from Deaf/HoH teachers/content creators 💖Eternals leads to rise in people wanting to learn sign language https://t.co/Eo3tgnDoLA— Lauren Ridloff (@LaurenRidloff) November 9, 2021
In an interview with Variety, Lauren discussed feeling extremely emotional to see herself communicate in American Sign Language (ASL) with her co-stars. It was the first screening of ‘Eternals’ with Lauren sitting in the theatre. She recalled crying before the movie had even started. For her, it had been like the wait of a lifetime, so being the first deaf actress ever to feature as a superhero in a studio feature film was a big deal for her.
She mentioned that the response she received for her character from the deaf and hard of hearing community has been very positive. She said, “I feel like a lot of people are thrilled just to see a deaf person of color in the movie. I think it is an important conversation that we need to continue to have. We just need to normalize subtitles.”
Lauren also hopes to see more opportunities for her career in the future.
‘Eternals’ has also introduced a new set of characters to the MCU. The ensemble cast, led by Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden and Gemma Chan also includes Brian Tyree Henry, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek and Barry Keoghan.
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