HAWKEYE Star Alaqua Cox Talks Joining The MCU In Her First Acting Role To Play Maya Lopez/Echo
Alaqua Cox makes her acting debut as Maya Lopez/Echo in Hawkeye, and she's now talked about that experience and being able to bring representation to the MCU as both a deaf person and an amputee.
Prior to starring in Hawkeye, Alaqua Cox had a background role in a school play, later working at a nursing home and for both Amazon and FedEx. She never really considered acting professionally, but that changed when friends sent her a casting call looking for a female Native American who was deaf (Cox grew up on the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin).
After spending months auditioning for the role, the actress received a text telling her to immediately sign on to Zoom. "I see about 12 people, including the Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, doing the deaf clap where you wave both your hands," the 24-year-old recalls. "I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ and they said, ‘Welcome to the Marvel family!’"
Praising her co-stars for helping to ensure she wasn't overwhelmed on set, Cox reveals that she was first told about plans for an Echo spinoff series halfway through shooting Hawkeye. "Hawkeye is my first experience of acting. Now I’m going to get my own show in the MCU? It’s wild," she admits.
During her time on the Disney+ series, Cox (who is also an amputee with a prosthetic lower leg) was able to spend time with Eternals star Lauren Ridloff and her husband, Douglas, who served as an American Sign Language consultant on that movie and Hawkeye. "I believe kids deserve to see inclusivity and accurate representation," the actress states. "It will make kids with all types of cultures and disabilities feel like our dreams can break free from limitations."
Cox is certainly an inspiration, and we're excited to see what she brings to the table starting with next week's episode of Hawkeye. Marvel Studios clearly has a lot of faith in the newcomer, while the character's ties to Daredevil, The Kingpin, and The Avengers no doubt means big things are on the horizon.