Alaqua Cox is making history as Maya Lopez, the star of the new Disney+ series, Echo.
Lopez, introduced in the 2021 series Hawkeye on Disney+, is Marvel Studios' first deaf and first female Indigenous superhero. Cox, a first-time actress, is deaf and hails from the Menominee Nation in Wisconsin. She's also an amputee who wears a prosthetic foot. Cox said Monday on Good Morning America that being an actress has given her a platform to address the importance of representation in Hollywood.
"The authentic representation is so important ... these deaf kids ... can feel like, 'I'm finally here. I feel like I have worth and I can do anything I want to go for.' Maybe they can see that similarity in me when they see me on the screen," Cox said through her American Sign Language interpreter.
In Echo, Vincent D'Onofrio reprises his Daredevil and Hawkeye role as criminal mastermind Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, who raised Maya as her adoptive uncle. He tells ABC Audio it was "a little different" acting opposite a deaf performer.
"But, you know, she's so connected," he explains. "She's so good at reacting and acting. And ... we just definitely felt that connection with her -- as strong if not stronger than usual."
He continues, "We have some very intense scenes when it comes to the whole father-daughter thing, and also the good vs. evil thing. And yeah ... I guess in the end ... [s]he's just a very good actress and she's a new actress. And you don't get to see performances like hers very often."
And that, D'Onofrio says, is "just super exciting to be around."
All five episodes of Echo are streaming now on Disney+ and Hulu.
Disney is the parent company of ABC News.