In Disney+’s superhero series ‘Echo,’ Alaqua Cox’s protagonist Maya Lopez/Echo is an amputee. Maya lost one of her legs due to an accident that also killed her mother Taloa. Despite being an amputee, Maya trains hard to become a significant part of the Tracksuit Mafia, a group of criminals who serve Wilson Fisk/Kingpin. Throughout the series, Maya overcomes several challenges she confronts as an amputee. Her prosthetic leg doesn’t stop her from doing what she wants to do. Cox, like Maya, is an amputee. The actress does have a prosthetic leg in real life like her character as well!
Alaqua Cox’s Life as an Amputee
Alaqua Cox has not publicly revealed how she lost her lower right leg. However, the actress underwent surgeries since she was three years old. “In my childhood, since I was three years old, I’ve had surgeries that lasted a long part of my life because of my amputated leg. I was in the hospital a lot,” Cox shared with PTI. The traumas the actress confronted as a child made her relate to the struggles Maya dealt with in her childhood. “I don’t think that’s usually normal for a child to have that many surgeries. But I grew up in a wonderful family. So, I would say that we have similar childhood traumatic events that happened to us [Cox and Maya],” the actress added.
Since Maya/Echo is efficient in martial arts and hand-to-hand combat, Cox had to train extensively. Her prosthetic leg didn’t stop her from preparing for her character. The actress trained five days per week with the stunt team to make sure that she was able to perform the stunts on her own. She even took advantage of her prosthetic leg since it gave her greater leverage and pain tolerance. “I was able to learn choreography, jabs, fights, and specific moves. That was very challenging but it was the greatest part of the project and a fun journey for me,” the actress told the press in an interview.
Cox’s efficiency as far as stunts are concerned is not accidental. She played six different sports while growing up, including basketball and volleyball for the Wisconsin School for the Deaf, her alma mater. “I didn’t let anything stop me from playing six different sports growing up. Plus, I have an older brother who helped me become more of an athlete because he’s an athletic person. We wrestled growing up, which also toughened me up,” Cox told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Cox believes that her or even Maya’s prosthetic leg is not a sign of limitations. “People like me can do it all. We fight. We flip. We run. We fall. We fight. I can’t wait for people to say, ‘I can’t believe she can do that.’ I think my prosthetic as a superhero is one of her [Maya’s] coolest things,” the actress said in the same Las Vegas Review-Journal interview.
Cox wants to inspire the next generation with her portrayal of Maya/Echo, who is deaf and an amputee. “I’m excited for this chance to show that people like me can do anything. Everyone else seems excited by it, too. It’s especially important for kids to see that dreams don’t have limitations. […] I worked at a warehouse. But you don’t have to let what you’re doing now limit you. I was always so excited to show people who I am and what I can do… what anyone can do. You just need to take that chance,” the actress added.
Read More: Where is Marvel’s Echo Filmed?