After being delayed from a November 2020 release date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Godzilla vs. Kong is scheduled to be theatrically released internationally on March 24, 2021. The movie stars deaf actress Millie Bobby Brown, and also introduces newcomer Kaylee Hottle, who is also deaf.
Hottle, who hails from Georgia, is 10 years old and fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). Deafness runs in her family, as both her parents are also deaf and the condition goes back four generations on her father’s side.
Prior to her movie debut, she has appeared in commercials and participated in the short film Dear Hearing People, by Sarah Snow & Jules Dameron in 2016. The video has had 227,977 views, showing just how important this subject is to both the deaf, as well as the hearing communities.
“I made this video with Jules Dameron while I was in Austin for SXSW,” Sarah Snow says on her Youtube channel about the short film. “Over the last few years I’ve learned that the hearing community has a lot of misconceptions about the Deaf community. I made this video to bring light on the situation and encourage people to communicate with one another.”
Read more: Q&A with deaf filmmaker Jules Dameron
In 2018 Hottle also appeared in another deaf short film 10 Deaf Children: One Powerful Message. This was directed by Sheena McFeely and produced by ASL Nook.
Godzilla vs Kong is Hottle’s first major motion picture break. In the film, she plays a young native girl named Jia who befriends the giant ape, Kong. She can be seen in the official trailer holding up a little doll-like model of Kong, to the creature himself.
This is a poignant moment, as he stops in his tracks, looks down gentle at her and then leaps back into action. In another touching scene, the little girl is seen touching fingers with Kong, this scene shows a captured Kong in chains with the rain pouring down on them.
As the young star has really only just started, little is known about her or her future plans, but it is safe to say that having appeared in such a major blockbuster the future must be bright for this young deaf actress.
Read more: 5 deaf actors to watch on Netflix