How American Sign Language Masters Are Transforming the Culture for Deaf Actors

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TheWrap Special Report: “I made sure to surround myself with deaf collaborators who would help me tell an authentic story that felt true,” “CODA” director Siân Heder says

CODA Sian Heder Emilia Jones ASL Masters
Director Sian Heder (center) on the set of "CODA" (Courtesy of Apple TV+)

This is the second story in a three-part Spotlight on Deaf Actors

Siân Heder’s living room was all wrong. While on set for her new film “CODA,” about the hearing daughter of a deaf family, her American Sign Language master, Anne Tomasetti, gave her a note about the film’s production design that Heder said she never would have considered as a hearing person.

“She was like, this living room is set up wrong. No deaf family is going to put their couch facing away from the door,” Heder told TheWrap, explaining that a typical deaf household would arrange their furniture to be able to see who’s coming and going.


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