Kaylee Hottle is part of the amazing ensemble cast of Godzilla vs. Kong, which premiered in theaters and on HBO Max on March 31. She plays Jia, a young girl who can communicate with Kong through sign language. The actress holds her own amongst major stars like Alexander Skarsgard and Rebecca Hall.
So, who is Kaylee Hottle? She is a young actress you need to keep your eye on. Learn more about Kaylee with our 5 facts below.
1. ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ is her very first role.
The role of Jia in Godzilla vs. Kong marks Kaylee’s feature film debut. It’s hard to believe because she’s such a natural onscreen. Jia is an orphaned girl who has a strong bond with Kong. She’s found a mother figure in Dr. Ilene Andrews. Kaylee began her career in commercials.
2. Alexander Skarsgard learned ASL to communicate with her.
Alexander told Junkee he learned American Sign Language so he could communicate with Kaylee on set when they weren’t filming. The actor admitted he was amazed at how quickly Kaylee adapted to everything involved with her first film. “It’s fascinating how comfortable she is in front of the camera and how quickly she takes notes from the director Adam [Wingard]. He’ll explain something and she’ll be like ‘got it, got it’ then she’ll just do it and everyone’s like ‘the f**k … how did she?’ She’s so professional and just incredibly … there’s so much going on on her face, her expression and the subtleties of that is fascinating to watch.”
3. She comes from an all-Deaf family.
There are four generations of Deaf relatives on Kaylee’s father’s side. She is fluent in American Sign Language. Prior to Godzilla vs. Kong, Kaylee appeared in 10 Deaf Children: One Powerful Message, a call to action to join the Deaf community in the ongoing fight for equality.
4. One of her favorite stars is deaf actress Millie Simmonds.
In an interview with Junkee on the set of Godzilla vs. Kong, Kaylee revealed that A Quiet Place star Millie Simmonds is one of her favorite stars. “I think that it’s important having deaf actors plays deaf characters,” she signed. “Because deaf people are aware of their own language and they’re more familiar with the culture.” She also noted that Bailee Madison is an actress she loves as well.
5. Kaylee was discovered outside of ‘traditional casting channels.’
Producer Alex Garcia revealed that it wasn’t easy to find Kaylee, but when they did, they knew she was the perfect Jia. “Finding the right girl to play Jia was an incredible challenge,” Alex said in a press release. “We had to look outside of the traditional casting channels to find her, and Kaylee, whom we were very fortunate to cast, had never been in a film before. But through a network of casting directors and theaters, our terrific casting director, Sarah Halley Finn, was able to locate her. And the moment we met Kaylee we knew she was the right girl for the part.”