Oscars 2022: Chicago actor Paul Raci on what 'CODA' means to deaf community

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As our countdown to the Oscars continues, "CODA" is the little indie film that could take the top honor Sunday.

Chicago's Paul Raci, who was an Oscar nominee last year, spoke with ABC7's Hosea Sanders about what this breakthrough movie means to the deaf community he's a part of.

FULL LIST: 2022 Oscar nominations
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Jane Campion's gothic western "The Power of the Dog" led nominations for the 94th Oscars. Here are the nominees in key categories.

"CODA" stands for Child Of Deaf Adults. Ruby is the only hearing member of her family, their interpreter and lifeline.

The cast of "CODA" is earning a major award. Troy Kotsur already has a collection, and is the front runner to get an Oscar Sunday. It would make him the first deaf actor to win. His co-star, Marlee Matlin, who grew up in Morton Grove, got the Academy Award 35 years ago.

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"Sound Of Metal" took audiences into the realm of silence. Paul Raci earned an Oscar nomination last year, for a part his wife Liz helped him get. Now, he's pulling for another film that reflects his life.

The actor still gets emotional remembering what he told his brother when he left his deaf parents behind for his own life.

"I'm sorry," Raci said, choking back tears. "I said, 'it's all yours now,' and I left home."

Raci has worked with Troy Katsur for decades in Deaf West Theatre.

"These pretty boy actors, in Hollywood, I'm gonna talk some Chicago with you now, my friend," Raci said. "To hold a stage for two hours, and hold an audience of 100, is a feat that is well worth applauding, and that's what I've done with Troy."

Since his Oscar season, Paul has done movies with J. Lo, Nic Cage - and Bill Murray's next.

"Who knows what's gonna happen," Raci mused. "How do you know if you're in a piece of doo doo until it comes out? I don't know, but I feel good about them all. It's booming, man!"

Mark your calendar: March 27 is Oscar Sunday. Special "On The Red Carpet" coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT and continues all day leading up to the 94th Academy Awards ceremony. After the last award is handed out, stay with "On The Red Carpet" for continuing coverage. Be sure to follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok for all your Oscar news and information. Click here to download our CTV apps to watch "On The Red Carpet" wherever you stream.

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