INTERVIEW WITH: Troy Kotsur
A. Hey, everyone. Would someone mind holding this award for just
a second so I can use both hands for sign language. Thank you.
I need to let my hands be free.
How are you all?
Q. I'm right behind you. Congratulations, Troy.
A. Thank you.
Q. The whole France is actually, you know, watching tonight and
waiting for this historic moments. What is the message you
have for the French right now?
A. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] I want to say, "Thank you, France,"
because, really, you planted the seed with La Famille Belier.
And so, from that seed, we developed this story. We made some
experimentation. With storytelling, there's always room for
improvement. And so from your French film -- you know, you
remember back when you had a T-Model Ford that you had to crank
by hand? And so today we have these cars that can just start
with the push of button. And so it's same idea with
storytelling: You always have room to improve with authentic
casting, with authentic defectors, and you see where this has
led today. So I'm so grateful to the French for planting that
seed. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE].
Q. Hi. Congratulations. I loved your movie and your acting.
This film puts disabled people at the center of the film, and I
was wondering what message that you want to send to people
watching this and disabled community and those not in disabled
A. In general, most of the time, hearing people out there have
neglected deaf people, have really been oblivious and haven't
been involved in deaf culture, and children of deaf adults and
disabled people have been through so much together. We have
talent, and there are ways to tell a story from different
perspectives and different journeys, and I've just been trying
to figure that out because I just want to make a connection
that gives Hollywood more room for storytelling, to think
outside the box, to be creative. Everyone has stories to tell.
We have such a rich history in the deaf community and the
disabled community and the CODA community, and we have been
through a lot. And right now, it's just a wonderful
opportunity to tell these stories, and this is just the
Q. Hi. I just wanted to know, what part of this movie are you --
or your performance, rather, are you most proud of?
A. Really, I'm most proud of showing dirty sign language and
dropping "F" bombs, so many "F" bombs, and I've been so sick
and tired of growing up, and I've seen all your swear words in
the subtitles, and your foreign films. Where was my
opportunity to bring this part of my culture forward. Finally,
here it is. This is the vulgarity. Now you can experience it.
You can just have a taste, and it is such a great flavor.
Welcome to my world. We have been patient with all of you.
Can you be patient with us deaf people? Can you learn the rich
diversity of our sign language, which includes our vulgarity.
You know, lawyers and doctors, scientists get so many vocabulary
words, mathematicians, too. But, really, ASL saved my life
because it helped me understand how to read English and math
and science and theater and scrips and all of the above. Sign
language is so rich. Everything I've been through in my
life -- you know, we communicate visually as deaf people. It's
as simple as that. Now you know why I wear hats. Because
these bright lights are so F'ing bright. And now I am able to
see my interpreter, and so instead of putting my hand over my eyes
looking like an idiot, I can just wear a hat. Do you all get
it? Do you get me? Thank you.
Q. I just want to thank you for all you've done with the community
and especially to your wonderful wife, Deanne, who teaches
American Sign Language at local schools.
Can you tell us about any work you might be doing with Deanne
in the future and other movies coming up since your wife is an
actress as well.
A. Yes. My wife Deanne Bray is an actress. I've always told her,
you know -- I believe my wife has so much potential in acting,
but I'm so grateful to her because she made so many sacrifices
to support our family. So, as teacher, it was a stable job and
stable career, and it kept our cash flow running so we could
pay our bills. You know, all of those everyday bills. You got
to pay the gas and the electric bill and all of the above. So,
I am so grateful to my wife. I'm a bit. -- you know, it was
tough for me because I kept being persistent in my acting
career when I was struggling, but maybe now we can have a
second chance to work together. Maybe, like "Power of the Dog"
with Jesse and his wife. You know, both of them are married in
real life, and they work together, and so maybe we can too.
Why not? So we're still talking about it. And like I said
before, this is just the beginning for me. This is a new
chapter. The question is: Is Hollywood ready for a new step
forward? Do you agree with me? I don't know. What number is
those reports? Love you. Thank you. Thank you, everyone.
Hearts. I love you. Kisses.