Strictly Come Dancing 2021 star Rose Ayling-Ellis has shared her thoughts on the availability of Deaf roles in acting, saying that she believes the ‘UK is behind America’ while praising the inclusion of Deaf superhero Makkari in new Marvel film Eternals.
EastEnders star Rose, 26, made history this year when she became the first Deaf celebrity ever to take part on Strictly, delivering show-stopping performances with her partner, Giovanni Pernice.
Last week, they received high praise for incorporating sign language into their performance, with the pair earning an incredible score of 37 out of 40 from the judges.
On the latest episode of The Last Leg on Channel 4, Rose made an appearance alongside last year’s Strictly champion Bill Bailey, who revealed he’s backing her to win the Glitterball Trophy.
She was asked by host Adam Hills what she thought about the character played by The Walking Dead star Lauren Ridloff in Eternals, who is the first Deaf superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
‘It’s amazing! I feel like, why is it all happening all of a sudden now?’ Rose responded.
‘And I think it’s amazing because in America they have a lot of Deaf roles at the moment, but in the UK, it’s still a bit behind,’ she added.
Adam referenced American actor and Deaf activist Marlee Matlin, saying that she ‘paved the way’ years ago for other Deaf people.
When Rose was asked whether she’d like to do the same by ‘paving the way for more Deaf people on British television’, she replied: ‘Yeah hopefully.’
Rose expressed how proud she felt to have featured sign language in her latest dance, which resulted in searches for sign language soaring online.
‘I was so proud because to do sign language on such a big TV show, that’s making history really,’ the actor said.
On Wednesday’s edition of It Takes Two, host Janette Manrara revealed to Rose that online searches for sign language had reportedly surged by 488% after her performance with Giovanni.
‘That’s the whole point why I’m on this show! Hopefully they will actually learn to sign,’ an astonished Rose exclaimed excitedly.
On Saturday, Rose and Giovanni are set to deliver yet another dramatic routine with a Tango set to Shivers by Ed Sheeran for Halloween Week.
Rose joined EastEnders in 2020, playing the role of series regular Frankie Lewis.
The Last Leg returns next Friday at 10pm on Channel 4.
Original article published here.