Kotsur, who Wednesday morning was nominated for best supporting actor at the SAG Awards, became the first deaf actor to score an individual SAG nomination, voted on by fellow actors. He and the rest of the film’s performers, several of whom are deaf, also received a nomination for outstanding cast.
In a statement provided to CNN, Kotsur said the SAG nomination “humbled” him.
“Hopefully the recognition that this beautiful film is receiving can serve as a reminder of just how funny, complex, and powerful Deaf voices can be, and that stories with actors who happen to be Deaf can be mainstream stories,” Kotsur said in the statement.
Kotsur plays Frank Rossi, father of teenage protagonist Ruby (Emilia Jones). Frank is deaf, and so are his wife, Jackie, (Oscar winner Marlee Matlin) and their son (Daniel Durant) — Ruby is the only hearing member of their family. Though the film depicts Frank’s challenges to communicate with the other members of his small-town Massachusetts fishing community, he’s never played as a victim or pitiable character — rather, he’s a self-sufficient laborer who relies on his hearing daughter far less than she thinks.