Who Is Alaqua Cox? Get to Know the Hawkeye and Echo Actress
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe gets the most attention at the box office, TV shows that feature Marvel comic characters like WandaVision and Loki have often been the MCU's hidden gems. They introduce us to some of our favorite new characters, both heroes and villains — who can forget Agatha Harkness? Disney+'s most recent Marvel series, Hawkeye, is no exception, bringing to life a one-of-a-kind hero with a unique backstory: Echo, played by actress Alaqua Cox.
Alaqua may be new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and even acting!), but her talent speaks for itself. Before she stars in her own upcoming spinoff series called Echo, read on to learn more about the Hawkeye star and what she brings to the MCU.
She's Menominee and Mohican Native American
In Hawkeye, Alaqua's character, Maya Lopez, aka Echo, is Cheyenne Native American. In real life, Alaqua is a proud part of the Menominee and Mohican Native American nations.
She Grew Up on a Menominee Reservation
The Menominee nation hails from modern-day Wisconsin and Michigan. Alaqua was born and raised on the Menominee Indian Reservation in the town of Keshena in northeast Wisconsin. In the Menominee language, the land is called Omaeqnomenew-Otaeskonenan, meaning "Menominee Thing Set Apart."
Hawkeye Was Her First Acting Job
Before she became a hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Alaqua was working in an Amazon warehouse in Wisconsin. Her friends saw a Disney+ casting call for a Native American and Deaf actress, and she decided to audition since she was a perfect match and had never seen anyone like her on TV before. Her life would never be the same: she landed the role as Maya Lopez on Hawkeye, joining the MCU on her first-ever acting job.
She's a Proud Deaf Indigenous Actress
Just like her Hawkeye character, Echo, Alaqua was born Deaf and uses sign language to communicate. When giving interviews on the red carpet, she's had an interpreter by her side.
When it comes to her role on Hawkeye, Alaqua told Entertainment Weekly that it was an exciting moment not just for her but for her entire community. "The [Deaf] community is in huge support of this role because they want to see deaf people represented in these deaf roles," she said. "Most of the time it's hearing people that take these roles, but finally authentic representation is here. So I'm excited for that, and so is everybody else."
She Wants Everyone to Know She Can Do Anything
Alaqua wears a prosthetic leg and doesn't want people to see that as a hinder in her acting career. "People with a disability like me can do anything: We can fight, we can flip, we can fall," she told Entertainment Weekly of her role on Hawkeye. "I'm excited for people to say, 'Wow, she can do that?'"
She Hunted Deer With Her Dad and Grandpa as a Child
Deer are incredibly common in areas like where Alaqua grew up, so it's no surprise she used to hunt with her family when she was younger. She shared on Instagram that hunting with her dad and grandfather was one of her favorite childhood memories.