‘Eternals’ Actor Lauren Ridloff Shares How Co-Star Angelina Jolie Helped Her On Set
Lauren Ridloff is one of the many stars of the new Marvel Studios film, Eternals. She plays Makkari, an Eternal with the power of super-speed. But, in the comic books, Makkari looks a lot different than Ridloff. The speedy Eternal is a white hearing male, but for the latest installment into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Makkari is a deaf woman of color. In fact, Ridloff is playing the first deaf superhero in the MCU.
Ridloff recently talked about the importance of her role in Eternals and what it was like being a deaf actor on the set of a massive Marvel movie.
How Angelina Jolie helped Lauren Ridloff read her cues on the ‘Eternals’ set
In an interview with The New York Times, Ridloff shared a story about her co-star, Angelina Jolie. She said, “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!'”
A laser pen, who would have ever thought?
Thankfully, Jolie had Ridloff’s back, and they were able to think of a solution together. But if fans catch red dots on walls in the background of shots in Eternals, they will know why. But knowing how particular Marvel is, it’s hard to see them making any mistakes in the post-production process of Eternals.
Ridloff describes her role as a deaf actor
Representation is essential in film and television because these fictional worlds directly represent the real world. Yes, some of them have superheroes flying around fighting powerful villains, but there are still elements of reality in those films. And that’s why it’s so great that Hollywood and Marvel Studios are finally becoming more diverse. Eternals will undoubtedly mean so much to deaf people around the world.
In the New York Times interview, Ridloff said, “Growing up, I didn’t dream about becoming an actor. I didn’t see myself on the screen. As a little girl, I thought I was one of only a few deaf people walking on this Earth. Now, as an adult, I’m aware there are at least 466 million deaf people and hard-of-hearing people out there. I’m not the only one. And that’s what it means to have a deaf superhero — a lot more people will see a lot more possibility.”
Ridloff’s role in Eternals is monumental, and, hopefully, Marvel continues to diversify its cast and its crew members, including writers and directors.
Everything we know about ‘Eternals’
Eternals is the next installment into Phase 4 of the MCU, after Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The film features an ensemble cast who all play never-before-seen characters in the MCU. In addition to Ridloff and Jolie, the film stars Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, and Salma Hayek as the Eternals.
The Eternals‘ premise is “After the return of half the population in Avengers: Endgame ignites ‘the emergence,’ the Eternals, an immortal alien race created by the Celestials who have secretly lived on Earth for over 7000 years, reunite to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants.”
Eternals premieres on Nov. 5 in theaters.