Edgar Wright and Ansel Elgort touched on CJ Jones’ in their Q&A at the SXSW premiere:
Audience Question: I really loved seeing you working with a deaf person in the film. Can you talk about that experience?
Edgar Wright: Well, the guy who plays Joe is a deaf actor called CJ Jones, and I had written that into the script. It was in the script. And I said to the casting director, “Let’s see some deaf actors in that age range”—and I had written it as like 85 years old—and there wasn’t anybody close, the closest to that age was CJ. And CJ was the only deaf actor we saw, and we auditioned him and he was great. And we saw some other actors, and when you see a deaf actor perform so brilliantly, as he did, and then you see other actors auditioning, actors pretending to be deaf, I just said “Stop! Stop!” …I think CJ Jones is amazing.
Ansel Elgort: Yeah, he told me also he’s the first ever deaf African-American actor in a motion picture.