With three deaf actors playing three deaf characters, the representation in Coda is a huge win for the deaf community.
"I had a great group of people around me that really helped me, so thank you to them. I've always been interested in learning ASL and interested in learning about deaf culture. Troy, Daniel, and Marlee really helped me and they kind of took me under their wing and were constantly helping me grow with my ASL. I was just so grateful that everyone welcomed me in their world and their culture and their community," Emilia Jones said.
Emilia Jones had to speak in an American accent and also learn ASL for the film, which wound up being a big winner at the Sundance Film Festival. She credits her proficiency in ASL to her castmates, Troy Kotsur, Daniel Durant, and Marlee Matlin.
"What a rich experience. It's authentic casting: deaf people! I thought 'finally we have this opportunity.' It's been the longest time," Troy Kotsur said.
The deaf actor made headlines last year due to his role as a Tusken Raider in the second season of the Disney+ series, The Mandalorian. Kotsur developed a unique form of sign language for the character. This time around, Kotsur is a huge contributing factor to the success of Coda and its subsequent multimillion dollar deal to Apple TV+.
The film also stars Marlee Matlin and Daniel Durant, the latter of whom told us he thinks the deaf community will be thrilled about the film having three deaf actors in three deaf roles. You may recognize Durant from his performances in Netflix's You and Freeform's Switched At Birth. His performance in Coda contributed to the film's winning the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast at Sundance.
Gifted with a voice that her parents can't hear, Ruby (Emilia Jones), a Child of Deaf Adults, finds herself torn be… https://t.co/dk8E5oT5wl— Apple TV (@Apple TV)1624546800.0
Coda is available to stream on Apple TV Plus now.