How to Get Cast on ‘Echo’

Article Image
Photo Source: Chuck Zlotnick

The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand with the debut of “Echo” on Disney+ in January 2024. The new miniseries is a spinoff of the network’s “Hawkeye” and marks the return of Maya Lopez aka Echo, played by Alaqua Cox. The show will also bring back the iconic supervillain Kingpin, played by Vincent D'Onofrio, and superhero Daredevil, played by Charlie Cox. “Echo” is the first installment under MCU’s Marvel Studios to debut on Disney+ and Hulu simultaneously and the first with a TV-MA rating. 

Wondering how to get cast on the next MCU show? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what it takes to land an MCU role, plus character insights from casting directors and audition advice from industry veterans.


What is ‘Echo’ about?

“Echo” follows Maya Lopez, a deaf Native American woman who has the power to copy another person’s movements perfectly. Following the events of “Hawkeye,” which took place in New York City, Lopez returns to her hometown in Oklahoma. There, she reconnects with her familial roots and reckons with the life of crime she lived as the adoptive daughter of Wilson Fisk, an infamous crime lord known as Kingpin. Echo’s keen observational skills helped her become boss of the Tracksuit Mafia, a New York street gang, but this limited series promises to go beyond the surface of her story. “Echo” takes a look at who Lopez is outside of that volatile environment and the growth that accompanies coming back home to one’s community.

Who is in the cast of ‘Echo’?

Marvel’s “Echo” features:

  • Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez (aka Echo)
  • Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin)
  • Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil)
  • Zahn McClarnon as William Lopez
  • Graham Greene as Skully
  • Chaske Spencer as Henry
  • Tantoo Cardinal as Chula
  • Devery Jacobs as Julie
  • Cody Lightning as Cousin Biscuits

Alaqua Cox as Echo

Who is the casting director for ‘Echo’?

Sarah Finn (“The Mandalorian”) and Krista Husar (“Twin Peaks”) serve as the primary casting directors for “Echo.” But this isn’t their first Marvel rodeo. The two have partnered on multiple MCU projects, including “Loki” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Finn has also been MCU’s top talent-seeker since the franchise launched in 2008 with Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man.”

As veterans in the industry, Finn and Husar know what it takes to create the perfect ensemble—but don’t fret if you’re not right for a particular role. As Finn told us, CDs are always looking at the bigger picture.

“There are many things that we are balancing in our minds. Where an actor is focused on a specific role and getting that role, they may not know all the backstories and all the other factors that we’re weighing and all the considerations,” Finn said. “There’s no trying to figure it out. Just trust that we have your best interests at heart and we’re listening to our directors and our producers and our screenwriters, and we are having the job of putting this all together.… If they’re not right for this particular job for some reason, there will be another one. Our job really is to take the long-view and remember people and what their talent and creativity is, and remember that for a time when the right part comes along.”


How did the casting process work for ‘Echo’?

Alaqua has her friends to thank for getting cast as Maya on “Hawkeye.” As she told The Hollywood Reporter, they were the ones who alerted her to the fact that Marvel Studios was looking for a deaf Native American woman, and she fit the bill. Alaqua spent a few months going through the audition process, which involved fake sides, meaning she never knew she was in the running to play Echo herself. In fact, it wasn’t until she received an urgent text from one of Marvel’s casting directors that she learned her fate.

In that text, Alaqua was asked to sign onto Zoom right away. “I see about 12 people, including the Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige, doing the deaf clap where you wave both your hands,” she told THR. “I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ and they said, ‘Welcome to the Marvel family!’ ” Of course Alaqua instantly screamed and ran from the room to tell her family the amazing news.

Similarly, Charlie wasn’t aware that he was auditioning to play Daredevil. “I got a call about an audition. It was a secret. They didn’t tell us what it was called or what it was. I just had some lines,” he told Collider’s Comic Con panel in 2018. “The story I tell is that I didn’t know the character was blind in my first audition, so I didn’t do that, and then you know it’s quite a rigorous process. 

“I had to audition, I had a Skype. I was then allowed to read the first two episodes, and then I had to fly to L.A. to have a screen test, and then I had a meeting, and then I had another screen test, and then eventually I got the job,” he added. “So it was a real process. I was really jumping through a lot of hoops to get it.”

Meanwhile, as D’Onofrio, who plays Kingpin, told, Marvel came to him. “They came to me, it wasn’t an offer. It was a reach-out to see if I was interested. And I was like, ‘Wow.’ I was really reluctant to do a show ’cause I had done one for so long on TV with ‘Criminal Intent.’ And so I was okay with doing, like, this and that, but I didn’t wanna commit to a whole show,” D’Onofrio said. “And so I needed the powers that be to understand that I would commit yearly rather than to a long period of time, that they would agree to kind of a handshake deal, that they would give me a heads up, whether they needed me or not. And if I wanted to do it, if I wasn’t doing something else, I would clear my schedule and do it for them. So we did this kind of thing where I agreed to do it, according to those kinds of rules.”

He continued: “Once the approach of the show was explained to me and the approach [to] the character, that they were really looking for a human being much like the newer Kingpin stuff, I was in. And once I was in and I started to produce character for them, it all really went well season-to-season after that.”


Where can you find similar casting calls for MCU or other superhero series?

Currently, there are no open auditions available for “Echo,” as it is a miniseries. However, the show cast with us in the past. In 2022, Marvel Studios issued a casting call for background performers and extras of all races, ethnicities, and ages, with a special focus on casting Native Americans, First Nations, and Indigenous peoples. Therefore, be sure to keep an eye on our roundup of superhero gigs casting now, as new MCU opportunities can be found there. 

For more top audition advice, you might also want to explore our guides on how to get cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how to audition for Disney. Our main casting page will keep you updated on the latest opportunities.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Kingpin

What are the best audition tips for landing a role in an MCU limited series?

Forget about emulating your favorite actors. D’Onofrio knows a thing or two about acting, as he’s been part of the industry for more than 40 years. So when fans asked for advice on Twitter, he emphasized that being yourself will set you on the path to success. “Actors just starting. Don’t emulate other actors whom you hold in high regard. Instead, bow to them,” he tweeted. “Celebrate their struggle to do good. Recognize their ability to put themselves in the circumstance of a character to help service a story. Learn from that. Be that kind of actor.”

One fan responded, noting it’s “hard not to emulate your faves when every audition wants a ‘Ben Affleck’ type.” But D’Onofrio stood firm: “They don’t know what they want. Service the story. Put yourself in the circumstance of the character. Swing big. You’ll get it or you won’t. Chin up and on the next one.” Lean into the special gifts and talents you have to offer the world and carve out your own path.

Focus on developing your authentic voice. Finn cast some of the MCU’s biggest names—Chris Evans (Steve Rogers aka Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark aka Iron Man), and Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa aka Black Panther) come to mind—so there’s no doubt she knows what it takes to succeed within the franchise. That’s probably why she recommends tapping into your authentic voice during the audition process.

“An actor should always follow their instincts and follow their impulses, because as long as an actor is drawing on their own life experience and connecting with what’s real in them and bringing that to what’s real in the character, it’s going to be unique. It’s going to stand out,” she told Backstage. “I think the most important thing is to bring their own original inspiration and creativity to anything they’re doing and to the role…. There’s really no way to try to guess what someone’s looking for or to try to figure out how to do it right. There’s no right. There’s only making it your own and bringing it to life.”

Enjoy every moment. Daredevil actor Charlie lives by the advice he would give his younger self: “Don’t stop enjoying [acting], even though sometimes the pressure feels very high.” As he told us, “If you’re not enjoying it, then there’s no point in doing it. You might as well have a job in a bank. If you’re going to be an actor or a musician or an artist of some sort, you’ve got to love every minute of it because it’s such a privilege.”

After all, he added, actors are paid to make believe—a privilege, indeed. “When you’re a kid, you go to your friend’s house and it’s, ‘Let’s pretend we’re both cowboys!’ Without belittling it, that’s basically what I do—I tell stories,” he explained. “The only downside to being given that opportunity as a young man—I started when I was 19—is that you’re plagued with the fear for a long time that people might not let you do it anymore. I wish I would’ve known how daunting that feeling is.” Instead, transform that concern into gratitude, for all aspects of life are fleeting in their own right, so cherish every opportunity (even if things don’t work out as you’d hoped).