Eternals, from Marvel Studios, will create history in more ways than one when it opens exclusively in theaters later this year. But perhaps most significantly, it will introduce the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first deaf superhero. Lauren Ridloff co-stars as the Eternal Makkari in the film. As one might assume, playing a deaf superhero was likely as difficult as being a deaf superhero in real life, but Ridloff explains that one unique set problem was resolved following a conversation with her Eternals co-star Angelina Jolie.
The challenge at hand was determining how to cue Lauren Ridloff in a scene where she was not looking at the other cast members. While she had no difficulty hitting her cues when looking at the other performers, she couldn't hear the call of "action" if the scene forced her to glance away from them. According to Ridloff, Angelina Jolie conceptualized a means to visually cue her that might be deleted in post-production. Ridloff clarifies, “In some scenes, I had to face a wall. As a deaf person, how do you cue me? At one point, I was sharing my frustration with Angie — Angelina Jolie — at a holiday party after a day of shooting. And she immediately made a suggestion, ‘why don’t we use a laser pen that special effects can easily erase?’ It was an ‘Aha, wow’ moment. Whenever I’m looking at a wall, the interpreters would use a laser pen to make a circle on the wall — ‘rolling, rolling, rolling’ — and once it went away that meant, ‘Action!'”
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