Backstage Interview: ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Backstage Interview: ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

INTERVIEW WITH: Troy Kotsur

FILM: "CODA"

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          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

                community?

          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

                beginning.

 

          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.

Acceptance speech transcripts for the 94th Academy Awards are created by a team of transcribers in real time and with minimal editing, for the benefit of the press on the night. They may contain omissions and errors, especially in the spelling of names. Clips of winner acceptance speeches may be found on oscar.com.

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