Marvel's Eternals Impacted Lauren Ridloff's Walking Dead Schedule

The next feature film from Marvel Studios, Chloe Zhao's Eternals, is bringing the first deaf superhero to the screen. Actress Lauren Ridloff, who is deaf, plays an Eternal named Makkari. While Ridloff is new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she has appeared in another comic title, starring in multiple seasons of The Walking Dead. You may have noticed that Ridloff has been popping up less in recent episodes of AMC's beloved zombie series, thanks in large part to her work on Eternals.

While visiting the set of Eternals, ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis heard from Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore, who talked quite a bit about working with Ridloff on the project. He explained that the heavy workload in Eternals led the actress to less screen time on The Walking Dead for a little while.

"She's definitely in less of The Walking Dead because she was on her movie for a long time," Moore explained. "And we learned a lot of lessons from Lauren because you have an idea of introducing a deaf character in a way that's really cool. And then you actually get to deal with somebody from the deaf community whose husband also is deaf. And a lot of our processes had to change and should have changed to make sure she felt comfortable and could perform. And that was really cool to be a part of, and I think we learned a lot and are excited to continue that relationship because Lauren's amazing."

Moore went on to talk about how both Eternals and The Walking Dead dealt with Ridloff's character being deaf. In The Walking Dead, there was a learning curve for other characters. That's not the case in Eternals. 

"It's just presented as who she is. And in talking with her, she didn't want the movie to have to stop to address it, because The Walking Dead they had to because, holy shit, for the first time in nine seasons, somebody had this difference," Moore continued. "These Eternals know Makkari's deaf. It's totally normal. She's totally functional. It's fine. They do sign to her, she signs to them. She can also, because she's constantly vibrating, she's constantly moving, she herself can sense vibration. So she can actually hear by feeling, in the same way that the deaf community hears music by feeling the vibration. So we don't explicitly talk about it."

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Marvel's Eternals arrives in theaters on November 5th.