According to Kotsur, he’s aiming to put his own unique spin on the National Anthem. Live ASL musical interpretation may not be something he’s familiar with, but he researched the original poem written by Francis Scott Key and constructed a performance that brings those feelings to the modern age. It’s not Kotsur’s first time getting creative like this; he also came up with the Tusken sign language for “The Mandalorian.” The actor viewed this latest opportunity as a chance to incorporate the lyricism of sign interpretation with his acting prowess.
“I’m adding a little salt and pepper that will make it even more poetic, even more delicious,” he told Variety. “It’s a visual art. That’s my personal art form, as a visual performer, so I’m putting it all out there.”
However, this challenge did come with some worries. During the main telecast, the cameras typically focus on the primary performer and not the ASL interpreter. Kotsur had concerns that the angles and framing shown to depict his performance would end up cheapening the performance. Thankfully, he worked with the NFL to ensure that his entire interpretation will be available for viewing for any hard-of-hearing Super Bowl viewers.
“There’s one camera, a close-up on me, which they’ll be streaming on Fox’s YouTube channel,” he explained. “Then there’ll be more of a wide shot with various cuts … I’ll try and let technology take care of itself. I’m just going to focus and do my part.”
Super Bowl LVII kicks off at 3:30p.m. PT/6:30p.m. ET tonight, February 12.