Walking Dead Taps Lauren Ridloff to Play AMC Drama's First Deaf Character

Tony nominee Lauren Ridloff is joining The Walking Dead‘s ninth season as a deaf character who uses “her senses to read people, situations, and trouble,” reports EW.com. Ridloff, who is deaf herself, earned a 2018 Tony nomination for her starring role in Broadway’s Children of a Lesser God.

The actress will appear in multiple episodes as Connie, a seasoned survivor who communicates via American Sign Language (ASL).

As previously reported, Season 9 of Walking Dead kicks off with a significant time jump. “[It’s] big enough that the world has changed around our characters,” new showrunner Angela Kang recently told TVLine. “We’ll see some new looks and new feels to the show, and there will be more instances of man-made things breaking down and nature kind of taking over. [Our survivors] will also be using more hand weapons, because there’s just not enough ammo.”

Kang, meanwhile, declined to comment on the series’ presumed new setting of Washington D.C. “I don’t want to spoil too much for the fans,” she hedged, “but there are some interesting things coming up.”