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Hillary Baack in The East

By Maeve Coleman, staff writer

Deaf actress Hillary Baack recently starred as Eve in Zal Batmanglij’s film The East. Because Eve is deaf as well, adjusting to the role seemed more than natural for Baack. When asked by Film Courage if she needed to see herself in a character in order to play it, Baack responded, “Yeah, I feel if it’s easy for me to connect with her vulnerability inside, it’s very easy for me to connect with. She was the only deaf person in the group and felt like an outsider, and as a deaf person that’s pretty easy for me to access and feel on a personal level….”

Baack’s resume shows her expertise in television, Broadway, commercials, and now film. Moreover, Baack also has experience in directing, miming, lip-reading, writing, dance, and much more. Instead of seeing her deafness as a liability, she calls it a “unique trait” and claims it as a strength—something that makes her stand out and differentiates her from other actresses in a positive light. Currently, Baack is participating in Outfest, an LA-based LGBT film festival that takes place in July.

The East was released in theaters on May 31st, first premiering at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Overall, the film has earned multiple positive responses.

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