VIDEO: Alaqua Cox Talks About the Device Created to Help Her While Filming Echo (Extended) | Tonight Show * 2024
VIDEO: Alaqua Cox Talks About the Device Created to Help Her While Filming Echo (Extended) | Tonight Show * 2024

Alaqua talks about how she never saw herself represented on the screen

“I’m excited for audiences (kids especially) to see people like me with different disabilities or diversities on TV so that they understand they are beautiful just the way they are,” she told.

Making her acting debut as Maya Lopez (or Echo) in Marvel’s Hawkeye, Alaqua Cox is helping to expand the idea of whom a superhero can be. As a deaf, Indigenous (Menominee/Mohican) woman who also happens to be an amputee, Alaqua is now the star of her own limited series, Echo, and she’s proud to give representation to each of these communities.

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Alaqua Cox, parents, ethnicity and disability

Born on February 13, 1997, to parents, Elena and Bill Cox, Alaqua has been deaf since birth. Hailing from the Menominee Indian Reservation in Keshena, Wisconsin, USA. She proudly embraces her heritage in both the Menominee and Mohican nations. Growing up on the Menominee Indian Reservation in northeast Wisconsin, spanning 358 square miles, Cox cherished moments with her siblings Will, Jordan, and Katie.

Cox shares about her family, mentioning her hearing family and deaf little brother. They all use sign language and are close-knit. From 2014 to 2015, she excelled in basketball and volleyball at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf.

The Hollywood newcomer grew up on the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin, where she still lives today in the Green Bay Area with her fiancé, Erich, and their three-month-old son. In early 2020 when she was working at an Amazon warehouse, friends sent her a casting call seeking a deaf Indigenous woman in her 20s, essentially a description of Cox. She had little acting experience outside of high school plays and had major doubts about her chances, but she still gave it a shot.

“But I’m so happy that the amputee community can now say that we have an amputee superhero. I want them to know that their dreams should not have limitations and that they don’t have to ‘fix’ themselves.” Although Maya did not originally have an amputation, Marvel studio execs rewrote the character to have a prosthetic leg like Alaqua.

Showing our authentic stories and breaking down barriers

She enthusiastically shares being part of this historic moment feels amazing. “I love proving people wrong. I’m so happy that indigenous people are showing our authentic stories and breaking down barriers. I grew up never seeing myself represented on the screen. I’m excited for audiences, kids especially, to see people like me with different disabilities or diversities on tv so that they understand they are beautiful just the way they are.”

She also stated, “there was no awareness about deaf culture at all”. “I got bullied for being deaf and an amputee, and I would complain, but the district wouldn’t listen.”
“On the first day of filming, the Choctaw people did a blessing ceremony for good luck,” Cox recalls. “We all did a powwow in their tradition as well. We even had Choctaw representatives on set to make sure their language was pronounced correctly. Syd did a great job collaborating with everybody, and it turned out so beautifully.”

 

Deaf, Indigenous, and disability communities that they too can be in the entertainment industry

Great attention was paid to accommodate Alaqua on set and ensure the Choctaw nation was portrayed accurately on screen. Depicted as the powerful lead in this series, Alaqua is showing the deaf, Indigenous, and disability communities that they too can be in the entertainment industry just as they are.

“It’s so important to have authentic representation because I grew up seeing the same kind of people on TV, and now it’s beautiful to see all these different skin colors and disabilities,” she said. “In the coming years, I want to see roles with disabilities played by people with disabilities.”

Maya Lopez is Marvel’s first deaf and indigenous superhero. Introduced in the 2021 series “Hawkeye” on Disney+, Lopez was also Cox’s first-ever acting role. In an interview with Variety, Cox shared that she asked the cast and crew of “Echo” to take ASL classes prior to production.

 

Alaqua Cox, Menominee actress, deaf and have a prosthetic leg * Todo lo relacionado