Eternals’ Lauren Ridloff Says Movies Should “Normalize Subtitles”

lauren ridoff eternals

Eternals is the latest superhero epic from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe that is set to break ground in a number of ways for the franchise, for instance by having its first openly gay superhero and first deaf superhero.

Now one of its stars, Lauren Ridloff, who uses sign language as her main communication method on and off the screen, is speaking out about the role and the need to “normalize subtitles” in an interview with Variety.

Ridloff plays Makkari in the film, one of 10 Eternals who arrived on Earth 7,000 years ago on the cusp of civilization being formed to help humanity throughout the ages and protect them against the malevolent Deviants. Makkari’s special power is that she is the fastest woman in the universe, something like the MCU’s version of The Flash (rest in peace Quicksilver).

Ridloff explained that her eyes welled up with tears during the initial screening of the film last month, before the first scene even began, with the movie being delayed by a year due to the pandemic.

“It felt like it was a lifetime of waiting…I didn’t really see anyone like myself ever represented on the screen.”

Ridloff went on to say she thinks making subtitles more mainstream in films is a must going forward and is pleased to say many people in the deaf and hard of hearing community pushing for that.

“I think it is an important conversation that we need to continue to have. We just need to normalize subtitles. Right now, all of us are so visual, and we’re so dependent on text — a lot of hearing people are. You text on your phone, you look at text on social media. So why not allow that to infiltrate the movie theater?”

Eternals comes to theaters on Friday.