Eternals, The: Star Lauren Ridloff: Marvel’s First Deaf Superhero

‘Eternals’ Star Lauren Ridloff: Marvel’s First Deaf Superhero

The actress talks about how she learned to advocate for herself on-set and the significance of her MCU character: “We need a superhero that represents us.”

Being a superhero wasn’t part of Lauren Ridloff’s plan.

The Eternals star wanted to be a children’s book author before an American Sign Language tutoring gig for the director of Broadway’s Children of a Lesser God led to a starring role in the show’s revival.

Theater is a “much more natural and inviting medium for Deaf actors,” and the production came fully staffed with a toolbox ready to support its deaf and hearing artists. But coming off that critically praised performance in 2018, Ridloff wasn’t sure she wanted to keep acting. TV and movies weren’t a place she had seen herself represented growing up, instilling the idea that it couldn’t be part of her dream.

 

Zombie in The Walking Dead
Yet, after scoring The Walking Dead as her first TV role, Ridloff found herself in demand. Now, she’s set to star in the Chloé Zhao-directed Marvel movie that will take her and Deaf representation to marvelous new heights.
The eagerly-awited film opens November 5.

During her transition from stage to screen, Ridloff says she’s felt like she wanted to prove she’s easy to work with, something that has led to her not always advocating for what she needed as an actor. But being on this massive Marvel production full of A-listers who “know exactly what they want” helped change her outlook.

Ahead of The Eternals’ anticipated release, The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Ridloff about her journey from stage to screen, how working on a blockbuster as an emerging actor changed her perception of self-advocacy on set and why The Eternals cast wasn’t sure what to expect in the final cut.