For “CODA’s” Marlee Matlin, who was the first deaf actor to win an Academy Award — for her role in the 1986 film “Children of a Lesser God” — the SAG award that the cast and star Troy Kotsur won last month was validation that the industry is finally embracing deaf talent. Now that Kotsur is the second deaf actor to be nominated at the Oscars, she hopes for a day that all actors are recognized solely on the merits of their acting abilities, whether they are deaf or not.

“It’s been a long time to get to the point where we are today,” Matlin said. “To receive the SAG Award is an absolute honor and especially the fact that it comes from our peers and those actors out there … I trust their opinions who voted for us. And I realized, yeah, they know now there are deaf actors. They know now that we can do great movies, but at the same time, we just want to be known as actors, regardless of whether we’re deaf or not. Actors period, all of us, of all kinds, who just love the art of acting.”

In conversation with Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis, Matlin was joined by “CODA” writer and director Sian Heder and actors Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur and Daniel Durant for the Variety Streaming Room presented by Apple TV Plus. They discussed the film’s growing success throughout this year’s awards season, and Heder explained the bumps that came up while making the film, including a short shooting schedule and logistical concerns.

“The creative side of this movie was always safe, warm, completely fulfilling,” Heder said. “The logistics of this movie were so hard. I mean, it was an impossible film to make and the time that we had, with the resources that we had. So to hold those two things at the same time, like I’m having the ultimate creative experience of my life, probably. At the same time, yes, everything always felt like it was going to fall apart completely, you know.”

To learn more about the cast filming on a 10-person boat, Jones performing her own stunts and Durant “accidentally” overeating food while shooting a scene, watch the full conversation above.