Troy Kotsur Makes History As The First Ever Deaf Male Actor To Earn An Oscar Nomination

2022 Oscar Nominees Include Actor Troy Kotsur

Your nomination deserves our heartfelt congratulations and we hope you win the award.

Troy Kotsur, the first deaf male actor to be nominated for an Oscar, talked with Deadline about his new film Flash Before the Bang, as well as what the milestone means for the deaf community.

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

The 53-year-old actor plays Frank Rossi, a deaf fisherman who depends on his hearing daughter, Ruby, to help him with his business. When Ruby chooses to go to college to study music, Frank and the rest of their family confront the problem of losing touch with the hearing world.

Given the importance the Oscars play in delivering attention to worthwhile work and the artists behind it, Kotsur said he was “extremely thrilled” by his nomination, as well as the Apple film’s nominations for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay.

Through an ASL translator, the actor stated, “I feel like it’s wonderful to be able to share this experience with the deaf community and with the hearing community. It’s so exciting and such a blessing.”

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

“I just felt so touched that so many deaf people all over the community are so excited and they’re all celebrating. It’s so important for the group of people in our ensemble who just happen to also be deaf,” he continued.

“It tends to just be one deaf role in a film, like many of Marlee’s roles in the past, and so I hope that Hollywood is beginning to be more open-minded and gives more diverse artists an opportunity to tell their stories. The awareness of ASL and deaf culture is such a positive.”

As far as possibilities for deaf performers, Kotsur cites the “A Quiet Place” movie and “Marvel’s Eternals” as instances of recent advancement. He says he can sense the enthusiasm out there right now, in terms of efforts to boost onscreen representation of all marginalized groups.

“It’s exciting to see because everyone has their stories to tell. We have such a rich storytelling tradition in the deaf community, and I hope that folks are motivated to be creative together,” he added. “It doesn’t matter if we’re deaf or hearing; we’re just people.”

The nomination of Kotsur is the newest milestone in CODA’s enchanted journey. After a successful screening at the Sundance Film Festival last year, the film was able to secure a distribution contract with Apple.
Born deaf, Kotsur grew up in Arizona’s Mesa. Before going into an acting career on stage, TV, and in films, he attended Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. A Broadway role in “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was one of his earlier credits.

Reactions to Troy Kotsur Makes History As The First Ever Deaf Male Actor To Earn An Oscar Nomination

CODA was such a great movie!

@KailiaSage

Rooting for him. He is incredible in Coda 😤

@KenTonoPorgkins

Hours later I still can’t believe it. Soooo incredibly thrilled! 💕 #CODAfilm

@ThingsAndStuff_

The movie my fathers fishing boat has a staring role in!! Congrats to everyone! Lots of hard work was put into this movie! So happy to see CODA get the recognition it deserves! Peep our family fishing vessel the main characters used 👀 #CODAfilm

@feyredarling77

So happy to see this. Kotsur's performance is hilarious and specific and deeply moving.

@lancerubinparty

LETS GOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

@holymatlin

Yessss!!! Way to go! A huge Congratulations on the Best Supporting Actor nomination!! @TroyKotsur

@catmackinnon

This is the reason I'll be rooting for CODA this year. I wonder how they'll manage to include ASL interpreters in the red carpet, and during the ceremony. This is exciting!

@themodestgeek

👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻 extremely well deserved

@damsuda

This is LOVELY (especially his reaction!!!!!). This is why I love #Oscars when good things like this happen.

@GalJedi

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