Hawkeye star Jeremy Renner learned basic American sign language to welcome his new co-star, Alaqua Fox.
During an interview with Disney’s D23 Magazine (via The Direct), 24 years old Hawk Eye Star Alaqua Cox revealed how Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld made her feel welcome.
“I remember meeting Jeremy on the set on my first day at work; I was a nervous wreck as this was my very first acting job, ”she said. “He then complimented me in American Sign Language (ASL), which reassured me.”
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Much like her character on the hit Marvel TV show, Alaqua Cox is deaf – and brings the Marvel heroes echo brought to life on the new Hawkeye show, as well its upcoming spin-off. And Renner wasn’t the only one helping Cox fit in.
“Hailee also gave me her name in ASL at the studio where we did our stunt training sessions,” she said. “I thought it was nice that they went out of their way to learn basic ASL in order to communicate with me. That means a lot to me as a deaf person. “
Cox stated that Renner and Steinfeld’s efforts to use ASL really showed how serious Marvel is with diversity and inclusivity.
“I am amazed at Marvel because they do such a great job with diversity and representation,” she said. “It means so much to me because I feel that children with all kinds of cultures and disabilities deserve to have more role models who look like them to inspire and empower the next generation. I am so grateful to have this opportunity because I am one of the examples. “
Echo is now the second deaf character to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after Eternal Hero Makkari (played by Lauren Ridloff) made her cinema debut in October.
Additionally, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye suffered hearing loss during his Avengers days, with Marvel declaring that his disability helps keep him human.
“It’s the realistic nature that he’s a person without superpowers. He’s injured, ”said executive producer Trinh Tran. “It’s this human element that we wanted to create. That they can be hurt can make the difference between life and death in some of the experiences they engage in. He puts ice packs on him at the end of the mission. We wanted to show that ‘behind the scenes’, which includes his hearing loss. “
Alaqua Cox will appear in Echo – the upcoming Hawkeye spin-off coming to Disney +.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment writer and film critic for IGN. You can follow him Twitter.