You can see Captain America in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but you can actually meet him at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. It's not Chris Evans playing Cap at the beloved theme park, but the actor become an instant hero to a fan when he recently chatted with a deaf guest using American Sign Language (ASL). Watch the video, which currently has more than 23,000 retweets and 53,000 likes, below:
We definitely needed to see a video like this. The smile on the guest's face is priceless, and it's the hug at the end is touching. The guy wearing the Captain America costume is not a famous Hollywood actor, but there are some household names in Hollywood who've learned ASL:
Ansel Elgort plays the getaway driver with a hum in his drum in Edgar Wright's movie Baby Driver. His character, "Baby," uses music to drown out the tinnitus ringing his in ears. In several of the scenes, when he wasn't burning rubber, Baby uses American Sign Language to communicate with his deaf foster parent.
#AnselElgort spoke to WENN at the film's European premiere about the joy he had learning the language for the role:
"I loved it. It was really great. CJ Jones was incredibly helpful, I really wanted to do it justice. I hate movies when Hollywood steps on things that people take very seriously. It's a language. It was really cool. It was my first time ever acting a scene in a different language.
"It wasn't easy but it wasn't like, 'Oh, I can't do this.' With CJ and the sign language teacher's help, I learnt it."
When a deaf fan approached Jessica Chastain for an autograph in 2013, after a performance of her play The Heiress in New York City, the Zero Dark Thirty star was able to have a conversation using ASL. Chastain may have learned it from her role in Take Shelter, in which she played the mother of a deaf child.
Long before Amber Heard signed up to play Mera in Aquaman, she studied ASL at a community college in Austin — she was too young to officially enroll, but she had a friend drive her to the school anyway. "Some of my closest friends from that time are people who are deaf," the actress told Marie Claire.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
If you watched Fargo on FX, then you are probably familiar with the hitman known as Mr. Wrench (Russell Harvard). Harvard, born into a third-generation deaf family, is a deaf actor who mostly reads lips. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mary Elizabeth Winstead talked about a scene when shooting in the dark made it difficult for him to read lips:
"We'd have all these signals for 'Action!' and 'Cut!' and different ways that I would touch him or squeeze his arm. Just by the end of it, I don't know sign language, but I picked up a few things and ultimately we just ended up having this easy, wordless communication with each other. We could communicate with each other in a way that other people couldn't and by the end of it, it felt like this special bond that I really enjoyed."
Even just a little training in ASL helped to create a bond on- and off-screen between these two Fargo actors.
Signing can be a first language as well as a second one. Sean Berdy, born deaf, stars in the Freeform television series Switched At Birth. It's the first television series to use multiple Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing regulars and shoot scenes with actors only communicating using ASL. Berdy plays Emmet Bledsoe, and his mother on the show is played by Academy Award-winnning actress Marlee Matlin, herself a trailblazer for Deaf actors in Hollywood.
Johnny Depp And Natalie Portman
#JohnnyDepp and #NataliePortman learned some sign language for Paul McCartney's video “My Valentine.” Portman and Depp were taught by Bill Pugin, who is a graduate of Gallaudet University, a university for the Deaf in Washington, DC. Pugin has interpreted for three U.S. presidents and the Dalai Lama.
It's wonderful to see that some actors and celebrities are willing to learn something new. Communicating with sign language can bring so much joy to their fans — just ask Captain America!