ETERNALS: Lauren Ridloff the MCU’s First Deaf Superhero
In an article posted to the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021, an interview with Eternals star Lauren Ridloff highlighted one of the unique aspects of her role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Makkari.
The most devoted of Marvel Blog True Believers will recall Makkari from my recent review of Eternals: Celestia #1 by Kieron Gillen, Kei Zama, John Livesay, Matthew Wilson, and Clayton Cowles. In that issue, the character has lost her ability to hear (as well as her ability to communicate telepathically), and as a result, she now communicates via American Sign Language.
According to the interview with the LA Times, this facet of Makkari’s character will play into her super powered abilities onscreen as well.
“Let’s just say Makkari would not be as fast as she is if it wasn’t for her Deafness,” said Ridloff in the interview. “I can’t wait for people to see the movie and be able to finally talk about it.”
While this enigmatic statement seems to suggest that there’s some additional element to the relationship between her super speed and her Deafness, there’s no corresponding tweet from a Variety writer spoiling what that relationship might be, so I guess we’ll just have to wait until November 5th, 2021, and find out what she means alongside the rest of the mortals.
Also quoted in the article is Eternals director Chloé Zhao, who stated that when she received the treatment for the upcoming MCU movie, it already featured a cast of characters that strove for diversity in categories beyond gender and race.
“Just to know that I was working with a director like Chloé, I felt very safe,” Ridloff stated in the LA Times article. “We went through this whole new path as the first Deaf superhero in the MCU, but under her direction, I knew that she would do me justice. And I knew that … authentic representation really is important to her.”
Ridloff also noted that in defying stereotypes around the Deaf community, the movie strives to show “Makkari as having a Deaf benefit or a Deaf gain.” And that the other actors, like Angelina Jolie and Selma Hayek, who are both incredibly warm and caring, helped with accommodations on set.
Eternals will be arriving in theaters on November 5th, but you can get your tickets now.
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