‘CODA’ star becomes first deaf male actor nominated for an Oscar
The full list of Oscar nominations is in, and they feature a few surprises. Among them is an important first for the Academy Awards. Troy Kotsur, who features in Apple’s acclaimed family comedy-drama CODA, has broken new ground by being the first deaf male actor to become an Oscar nominee, thanks to his placement in the Best Supporting Actor category.
Interestingly, the first deaf female actor to achieve this same feat was Kotsur’s CODA co-star Marlee Matlin, for her performance in 1986’s Children of a Lesser God. On that occasion, she also managed to walk away with the prize for Best Actress, so we’ll have to see if history repeats itself on that one. Kotsur recently became the first deaf actor to receive a SAG nomination, too, as he shared the accolade for Outstanding Performance by a Cast with his fellow stars.
The 53-year-old actor has previously appeared in the likes of 2007’s The Number 23 and 2008’s Universal Signs, as well as directing the documentary film No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie, released in 2013. Kotsur has likewise had guest roles on various TV series, such as Scrubs, Criminal Minds, and The Mandalorian.
Kotsur faces some fierce competition in the Best Supporting Actor category this year. Ciarán Hinds is also in the race for his turn in Belfast, as is J.K. Simmons for his role in Being the Ricardos. Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee, both from this year’s juggernaut to beat The Power of the Dog, round out the nominees. CODA similarly stands to win Best Picture, if it can beat out the likes of Dune, King Richard, and West Side Story. A nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay has also been awarded for writer/director Sian Heder.
CODA — as based on the French film La Famille Bélier — stars Emilia Jones as Ruby, a CODA (Child Of a Deaf Adult), the only hearing person in her family, who must choose between supporting her loved ones and following her own dreams. It can be streamed on Apple TV Plus.