CODA’s Troy Kotsur made history at the SAG Awards on Sunday, becoming the first deaf actor in the show’s history to win an individual award. He won the award for Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, beating out Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

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“Wow. Thank you very much to everyone on SAG. I am happy to be a part of it. I’ve been a member since 2001, and today I feel like I’m truly part of the family,” Kotsur said in his acceptance speech through an ASL translator. “I know you’re all artists, and I know you’ve all experienced what it’s like to be a struggling actor. I used to sleep in my car back then. I slept in my dressing room backstage, couch-surfed, and did all of that, do you understand? So, once again, thank you very much. I’m eternally thankful to SAG for defending us performers.”

CODA is also nominated for Best Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Kotsur’s triumph enhances his chances of being just the second deaf actor in history to win an Oscar in the Supporting Actor category, following his CODA co-star Marlee Matlin’s win in 1987 for Children of a Lesser God.

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CODA is a comic drama based on the French film ‘La Famille Bélier,’ which follows the tale of Ruby (Jones), a CODA (or “child of deaf adult”) who works as an interpreter for her Boston family, which includes her mother Jackie (Matlin), father Frank (Kotsur), and brother Leo (Daniel Durant). At a crossroads in her life, the character is conflicted between the role she plays in linking her loved ones to the outside world—particularly with relation to their fishing business—and her pursuit of a music degree.

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When it premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, writer-director Sian Heder’s film received critical praise, earning the Grand Jury Prize, as well as the Audience Award, Directing Award, and U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble. Apple bought it out of the festival for a record-breaking $25 million, and it will be released in cinemas and on Apple TV+ on August 13. During the 2021-2022 awards season, the film received nominations for the BAFTA Awards, Critics Choice Awards, Artios Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, PGA Awards, and WGA Awards.

CODA will compete for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay at the 94th Academy Awards on March 27.