Alaqua Cox Recalls When She Found Out She Had Been Cast In Hawkeye

The second episode of Hawkeye briefly introduced fans to Alaqua Cox as Echo, a deaf Native American with the ability to perfectly mimic people's moves and the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia. Now, Cox has recounted the story of how she found out she was cast in the Marvel Studios and Disney Plus series.

The first two episodes of Hawkeye focused on Kate Bishop's run-in with the Tracksuit Mafia after she stumbles upon an underground auction that is disrupted by the gang. With the Ronin suit being one of the items up for sale, Bishop decides to don the outfit and take on the gang. What follows is a series of complicated events that, in short, ends with Barton and Bishop being captured by the gang, who inform Cox's Echo that they have both archers in their custody.

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During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cox said she became aware that Marvel Studios was searching for a deaf Native American woman when her friends sent her the casting call. After auditioning for the role of Echo for a few months, she received an urgent text from a Marvel casting agent who urged her to log onto zoom quickly. "I see about 12 people, including the Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige, doing the deaf clap where you wave both your hands,” said Cox of the virtual meeting. “I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ and they said, ‘Welcome to the Marvel family!’" After being informed of the news, Cox screamed and ran into the next room to tell her grandfather before heading to the house next door, where the rest of her family lives, to deliver the good news.

The audition process involved fake sides written by Hawkeye head writer Jonathan Igla, meaning Cox had no idea she was auditioning to play the MCU's Echo. On top of that, Cox's only experience with acting at the time was a background role in a high school play, but Hawkeye episode director Rhys Thomas helped her during the audition process, and Marvel casting head Sarah Finn noted that the team was pulling for Cox to land the role from the start. Once Cox had been cast and arrived on the set of Hawkeye, the acting newbie received nothing but kindness for her co-stars Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld. "They knew I was overwhelmed being on set for the first time and provided me a lot of support," Cox said.

Now, Cox has quickly gone from being a new actor to becoming the star of her own series, with Marvel Studios officially announcing an Echo spin-off is being developed for Disney Plus. Cox had not been informed of Marvel Studios' plans for an Echo spin-off until halfway through filming on Hawkeye, and she noted the fast move from newcomer to lead star has been "wild."

Like Echo, Cox is Native American and deaf, and she is also an amputee who has a prosthetic lower leg. During the interview, Cox stated that is important for kids "to see inclusivity and accurate representation" because it will let kids with all types of cultures and disabilities realize their dreams are not subject to limitations. While fans have only seen one full episode with Echo so far, it appears Cox aims to make the character a memorable addition to the MCU.

Hawkeye episodes 1-3 are now available on Disney Plus.

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Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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