Deaf actor Troy Kotsur won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role of Frank Rossi in CODA. Kotsur’s character, a deaf fisherman, is the father of the protagonist in the film. Variety has reported on the actor’s thoughts on winning an Oscar.
Kotsur is the second deaf actor to win an Academy Award, the first being Marlee Matlin who won Best Supporting Actress for Children of a Lesser God in 1987. Matlin also appears in CODA as Jackie Rossi, the wife of Kotsur’s character.
CODA stars Emilia Jones, who is known for the role of Orla in Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans. Jones plays the role of Ruby Rossi, who is the only person in her family who is not deaf. Since regulations state that there must be at least one person who can hear on the ship Ruby feels obligated to live her life on the fishing boat. The film also won Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Kotsur talked about his financial struggles before being cast in CODA. While visiting the White House, President Biden mentioned to Kotsur that he has watched the film twice. Kotsur was asked if he feared that CODA’s presence at the Oscars will be soon be forgotten, leaving no significant positive change towards deaf actors in the industry, to which Kotsur answered that he had no fear or regret moving forward.