Meet the brilliant actress in sign language in the new video game “Spider-Man”

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The world has learned that one of the characters in “Spider-Man” in 2018 will speak two languages ​​in the Oscar-winning animated film Miles Morales “Spider-Man: Spider-verse. ”

His mother, Rio Morales, is from Puerto Rico, so it makes sense for her son to speak Spanish.

Last week, when the video game world released Sony and Insomniac Games, Miles found out that it was actually trilingual.Marvel Spider-Man: Miles Morales”On the new PlayStation 5.

Miles, As found on Twitter Earlier this month, he knew American Sign Language (ASL).

The viral tweet introduced Spider fans to the idea that Miles could sign, and a new character in Spider-Man, Hailey Cooper.

Hailey, played by the actress Natasha Ofili, “The next generation of Marvel New York. “East Harlem knows him as a skilled street artist and social organizer. He also becomes deaf.

Marvel is likely to continue the trend of attracting more characters since the launch of Marvel’s Avengers, The main Muslim Pakistani teenager attended.

“His deafness is about who he is, but not about his story,” said Mary Kenny, the author of Insomnia Games behind Haley’s character. “His story is about what he wanted to do for the community and how he portrayed it.”

Miles has been to himself since the world last saw him. He has made friends in his new settlement and is currently taking a language course Brooklyn Vision Academy (ASL; she already knows Spanish) and she’s just … beautiful.

But he still “hesitates when he signs,” Kenny said. “He’s looking for signs. He calls her by her name because he doesn’t know her name sign more. In fact, it really makes him feel that way. ”

In a viral scene where he met Miles Haley, he approached her on a snowy street in New York.

“Hey!” he signs. -Are you HAILEY?

“I’m Hailey,” he replies his name sign – “X” hand shape (spray paint mark) with “Z” movement in the heart-spraying paint movement. “Everyone calls you ‘our Spider-Man.'”

As the clip began to circulate on social media, Ofili’s agent sent her an e-mail. The actress was thrilled to see herself for the first time as Hailey.

“I’m still shocked,” Ofiili recently told the Times over Zoom website. (She speaks ASL and English.) “I look at myself over and over and I can’t believe it’s true. And like me. I am still very proud and full of abundance. ”

Last year, Ofili was one of the first Black Deaf actors to be animated on television.Returned. Now he is also one of the Black Deaf actors in the video game.

Natasha Ofili starred as Karen Vaughn on TV "The Politician" On the Netflix website.

Natasha Ofili starred as Karen Vaughn in Netflix’s “Politician.”

(Berdy Thompson)

“It’s definitely news to our society, the Black Deaf community, because they don’t see themselves on TV or anything,” he said of the role of Spider-Man. “If they want what they want, they can. We’re not saying they should be the protagonists of the video game, but it could be something: the sky is the limit. ”

The metaphor of Opheli is often used to describe the public: it is “the latest in the food industry,” he says.

“For so long, the Black Deaf community has wanted people to see us as human beings. We wanted them to see that we really had something to offer, ”he said. “And we have a heart to grieve, to be angry, to be happy, and to give other things, and we are real and raw with our true feelings.”

She thinks it helps to portray her image through Hailey or in other roles on the screen, for example Director Karen Vaughn Netflix’sThe Politician. ”

While Vaughn is a director, Hailey is also an artist. Identification of these characters; Being deaf is an additional detail.

Hailey Cooper is a street artist and founder of a community in East Harlem.

Hailey Cooper is a street artist and founder of a community in East Harlem.


“Hayley Cooper, she’s a cool girl,” Ophely said. “He wants to go far. But he chooses to stay in the congregation because he wants to lift it up and let the whole congregation go up with him. Maybe he knows who will leave, but I think his heart is ready to continue the fight. He is just a pleasant almond. ”

The actress and the protagonist also share other personality traits: Ofili describes them as both angry and independent with their sometimes lame style. But the protagonist reflects many aspects of Black Deaf culture.

“I don’t think he’s who he is, he can’t touch anyone,” Ophely said. “I am very happy because I am a first-generation American: Both of my parents are from Africa. But I was able to spread our American culture. So I have a little bit of African culture, a little bit of general culture. I represent both. I think he can communicate with the Black Deaf community as well. ”

According to him, Haley could be the first, second, third or fourth generation. It reflects the culture of the black deaf in its marginalization, carelessness and stubbornness.

Moving sensors and bring the character to the PlayStation 5 screen Involve the play. There were no traditional props or kits.

“Everything was artificial, and I really loved the process because it was so hard,” Ofili said. “But it was a big challenge for me, because I was able to work creatively and absorb the space as if it were living in your head. … This is just an empty room when you enter. It’s amazing “

The artist, who began his career in the fashion industry, sees his work as a combination of technique and emotional acting. On stage, he worked with Naji Jeter, who played Miles’ body and face TJ FortsonSigns as a hand to Miles.

“Miles still uses ASL,” said Kenny, the game’s author. “But he didn’t use it all his life. He didn’t grow up like Hailey; he began to study it. Thus [TJ]Miles played as an ASL, and he took that into account. He cannot speak freely on his own. ”

Prior to the engagement, Insomniac met with a group of deaf consultants who were headed by the actor Joshua CastilLearn about signatures and how to avoid common pitfalls that reflect the deaf community in the media.

“One of my favorite moments was when Josh and Natasha and T.J. They sat down and read a book [the script], ”Said Kenny. “And Josh said to me …” Hey, a deaf person doesn’t say that. “And I said,” Cool, change that. We have to do it right. ”

After Kenny decided to write a character using ASL, he turned to the animation department and asked if that could happen. Recording some finger movements in a video game was unprecedented.

“Sony was so excited. “We need to invent new technology, but we’re ready,” Kenny said. “‘We’ll do it.’ ‘

At every step was Brian Horton, creative director of Insomniac Games. His son attended ASL at school – just like Miles. Horton highlighted accessibility: Subtitles appears automatically When a character is signed, and Insomniac Natasha tells the story for players with a low chance of seeing her lines on the vocal stand.

“I can say that the whole studio is committed to giving as many people as possible the opportunity to play our games,” Horton said. “And I think you can see that trend in board games.”

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