Category Archives: Native Actors

NM Tribe Turns Casino into a Movie Studio!

“A small New Mexico tribe has opened a movie studio in a former casino that it hopes will lure big productions.”  R. Contreras, Indian Country Today

Cheyenne and Arapaho filmmaker Chris Eyre, talks about Tesuque Pueblo’s new film studio in Santa Fe, N.M.-Photo- AP: Russell Contreras.


Excerpt: Tribe transforms old casino into movie studio, Russell Contreras, ICT

The Tesuque Pueblo recently converted the building near Santa Fe into a movie studio campus called Camel Rock Studios with more than 25,000 square feet of filming space.

The tribe’s lands feature stunning desert and the iconic Camel Rock formation in the red-brown foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and tribal officials said outdoor filming can take place on 27 square miles of the reservation.

The tribe with about 800 members decided to open the studio after scenes from the Universal Pictures western movie ‘News of the World’ starring Tom Hanks were filmed last year in the Camel Rock Casino, which closed in 2018.

Universal’s use of the casino for filming helped convince tribal officials to transform the empty building into studio space, said Timothy Brown, president and CEO of the Pueblo of Tesuque Development Corporation…Cheyenne and Arapaho filmmaker Chris Eyre, a Santa Fe resident and an advisor to Camel Rock Studio, said the studio’s unique aspect is that its former makeup as a casino provides the site with pre-made infrastructure that can be used for filming different types of movie scenes…Older movies filmed on the Tesuque Pueblo include the 1955 western ‘The Man from Laramie’ starring James Stewart and the 1988 ‘Young Guns’ with Emilio Estevez and Kiefer Sutherland…Tribal officials plan to create internships and movie training programs for Tesuque Pueblo members and hope that the studio will foster a new storytelling movement, Eyer said.”

Indian Country Today: Resource Sites for the COVID-19:

Are you a Native student whose college or university has been closed or switched to online classes? Visit this spreadsheet for resources involving technology in Native communities. It is updated by San Juan College’s Native American Center.

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basic information.

Indian Health Service

National Congress of American Indians

National Indian Health Board

COVID-19: Native advisories and event updates

~Democratic Presidential Leader Joe Biden~

“European diplomats and foreign policy experts say that a Joe Biden presidency would restore the United States’ strained alliances with Europe.” Business Insider


2020: International Call For Native Actors!

“Open call locations in the U.S. and Canada on January 12, self-tape auditions are also accepted via email. As part of the Casting Society of America’s stated ‘ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion in casting’ in the film and television industry, the organization has set an international open call for Native American, First Nations and Indigenous actors for Sunday January 12, 2020 on a scheduled appointment-only basis.” V. Schilling, ICT

Excerpt:International Open Call for Native American and Indigenous actors, Vincent Schilling, ICT

“For in-person scheduled auditions, participating locations will include Los Angeles, New York, Albuquerque, Portland, Chicago, Norman, Oklahoma and Montreal. If interested applicants are not able to make it to the location, self-tape auditions are also being encouraged for union and non-union actors.

According to the Casting Society of America (CSA) press announcement, ‘CSA members across the globe will open their offices to union and non-union Native American and Indigenous Actors. Artists who are professionally trained, as well as those actively pursuing professional careers as performers are welcome to attend. Artists will be given an opportunity to perform a prepared scene of their choice in front of a panel of CSA casting directors offering actors the opportunity to interact with casting directors who are looking to expand their knowledge and understanding of underrepresented and undiscovered talent in a professional casting environment.’

Russell Boast, the Casting Society of America president and DeLanna Studi, Chairperson of the SAG-AFTRA National Native Americans Committee both offered comments in the announcement regarding the casting call.

‘The Native American and Indigenous Actors Open Call follows the huge success of CSA’s Inclusion and Diversity open calls for Trans and Non-binary actors, Performers with Disabilities, Seniors and MENASA (Middle Eastern, North African & South Asian) actors,’ said Russell Boast in the release.

‘These open calls offer both an opportunity for these underrepresented actors to be seen and a chance for our Casting Director members globally to become familiar with their work. Our hope is that empowering Casting Directors by giving them the tools to cast authentically will create a ripple effect through the industry that will result in more opportunities for diverse actors and filmmakers both in front of and behind the camera.’

‘As Native people, we are often called the ‘Vanishing Race’ or the ‘Disappearing People.’ One of our biggest burdens and greatest opportunities is educating the Industry about who we really are: to break past these stereotypes and to move our communities forward.”

How to sign up and schedule an audition

Interested union and non-union actors are invited to any of the locations on an appointment-only basis. For more information and to sign up for one of the locations visit:

How to submit a self-tape

To submit a self-tape send an email inquiry to:

In the self-tape:

Slate: (A piece of paper with the following info held up to the camera):

Your name, location, email address.

Read: A scene of your choice that best shows off your strengths. No longer than 2-3 pages.

About: If you would like to tell us a little about yourself please share a minute.

Label: Please label your self-tape FirstNameLastName_OpenCall

Email: Self-tape to

Subject heading: Open Call Self-Tape

Category: Native Actors

Marvel Films and Native Superheroes

“It’s time for a Native Marvel movie: 10 existing Native Marvel heroes and 10 Native actors to play them.” V. Schilling, ICT

Loren Anthony as Puma.

Excerpt:Time For a Native Marvel Movie – Vincent Schilling, ICT

“I was born in 1967 and was a by-product of the ‘70s and ’80s and grew up loving Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, The X-Men, The New Mutants, Daredevil, Spiderman and so much more. These comic superhero creators are giants in the Marvel world. The one thing that has always been lacking has been diversity — especially Native American heroes — outside of a handful of fairly stereotypical Native American heroes, except maybe Danielle Moon Star and Forge. But Stan Lee and Chris Claremont, as well as other creators, were mindful that every nationality should be represented in the Marvel Universe…I think Marvel has an amazing opportunity to create something never before created, to further the recognition of diversity in mainstream films…I am hoping Marvel might consider this: A Marvel superhero movie with the majority as Native American superheroes…there are over 75 Indigenous heroes in the Marvel Universe that already exist. So let’s just say Marvel is listening, perhaps they might be a bit curious if this is doable. Ok, Marvel, in the odd chance you might be looking at this article, here you go.”

Adam Beach (Twitter) – Jason Strongbow (Marvel)

Super strength, speed, agility, stamina, near-invulnerability, super eyesight, increased senses, crossbow proficiency. Yes, we know Adam played Kill shot in Suicide Squad, but his sacrifice to forward the story was too short. Bring on more Adam Beach.

Wes Studi photo by Vincent Schilling, Centurion (Marvel)

As a prince of an “Amerindian Tribe” Centurious is a God. With a description as a soulless immortal with supernatural abilities, magic, strength, control over the elements, telekinesis, levitation and mind control, Wes Studi could blast into the Marvel Universe like Thanos. Studi could also play the Beyonder in the Secret Wars. My guess is that Secret Wars to be the next Marvel Universe saga.

Sivan Alyra Rose on Instagram, Echo / Ronin (Marvel)

Though Deaf, Echo has photographic reflexes – meaning she can immediately duplicate movements, thus her expertise in martial arts, acrobatics and dance. Sivan Alyra Rose was made to be Echo.

Loren Anthony (Instagram) Puma (Marvel)

Puma has genetically enhanced human abilities, with transformation powers to become a humanoid Puma, with increased senses, as well as a martial arts expert.

Michael Greyeyes (IMDb) Shaman / Talisman (Marvel)

Native medicine expertise as well as western medicine and surgical expertise, holder of medicine bag that holds all objects to summon into existence, can transform into an eagle, levitation.


More Exciting News: Joy Harjo Is Named U.S. Poet Laureate

Credit Shawn Miller:Library of Congress

“Joy Harjo, the Oklahoma-born writer, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, is the first Native American to hold the post.” By C. de Leon, The New York Times


Meet 12-Year-old Navajo Lead Actor in Nemo Há’dèístíí/ Finding Nemo

“Twelve-year-old Quinton Kien is not exactly your typical Hollywood actor but he blew this one out of the water. As the voice of the title character in the Navajo version of Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo, Kien made quite an impression on his grandmother Julia Hildreth.” Donovan Quintero, Navajo Times

Quinton Kien is helping Disney-Pixar create a Navajo language version

Quinton Kien is helping Disney-Pixar create a Navajo language version

Excerpt:   12-year-old shines in new Navajo-dubbed Pixar film, Donovan Quintero, Navajo Times

“Nizhoní, said Hildreth, of Steamboat, Ariz., at the premiere on Monday night in Albuquerque at the Century Rio 24 theaters. Kien played the voice of “Nemo” in this latest installment where the Navajo Nation Museum collaborated with Hollywood executives to dub the movie in Navajo. The first film to be dubbed in Navajo, Star Wars, was done in 2013.

Actor Quinton Kien.

Actor Quinton Kien.

This project was different from Star Wars, said Navajo Nation Museum Director Manuel Wheeler. There was a lot of dialogue and emotion aimed towards children and that was what we were looking for. With the way it was received on Monday, Wheeler said the first screening went beautifully. The audience seemed to react to it.”

Nemo Há’dèístíí/ Finding Nemo is now on DVD

If you think this trailer is awesome, wait till you see the whole movie!! The Nemo Há’déést’įį’ DVD’s are coming!! Pre-order at or come to the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, AZ on TUESDAY APRIL 26 at 8AM to purchase your copy!!  For more info call  NNM at 928.871.7941.

Navajo Museum

 “ Nemo Há’déést’íí” : With some elders in the audience, I think the benefits of making this movie is they can watch this with their grandchildren,.” ~Manuel Wheeler.~Navajo Nation Museum Director 

Category: Native Actors

Wes Studi Joins Penny Dreadful Series in May!

“According to Native actor Wes Studi, who has portrayed a plethora of historic Native American figures in films and television – his latest role as the Native American mystical character of Kaetenay is one of the most fun and refreshing roles he’s played in a long time…his character’s involvement from the start will be a show-stopper.” V. Schilling ICTMN

Wes Studi as Kaetenay in Penny Dreadful. Photo- nightling13.

Excerpt: Wes Studi Talks About His Latest Role  in Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, Vincent Schilling ICTMN

VS: How’s the show been for you?

Wes Studi: Penny Dreadful has been a refreshing and wonderful experience. I’m in every episode of the most recent season except for one. There are nine episodes. It is a really fun script and certainly a departure from things I have done before – aside from the fact that I’m playing Apache again. [laughs] I haven’t had this much fun on a series for a good long while.

Wes Studi in Trailer for Penny Dreadful season 3.

Wes Studi in Trailer for Penny Dreadful season 3.

VS: Your character seems to walk a fine line between campy and dramatic. You look like you are having a blast.

Wes Studi:  [laughs] Well, I guess it shows, then. This has been an opportunity to reach outside of reality and jump into that fantasy realm. I have never really done this type of work that sits within that realm of Bram Stoker with vampires, Dorian Gray and the magic and mystery of good and evil. To me, this is the closest to Shakespeare that I have done.

Scene from Penny Dreadful season 3- trailer

Scene from Penny Dreadful season 3- trailer

VS: The great thing about this show is that it has introduced you to a new fan base in the science-fiction, com-icon and cos play world, How has that been?

Wes Studi:  I have begun to see this on social media and I have been to a comic-con. It is fabulous and I have to say that fan base is fantastically wild and weird.

WATCH:You tube: Penny Dreadful Season 3 Teaser 1 | SHOWTIME | 2016

Penny Dreadful, the Showtime series based on historical horror figures such as Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Dorian Gray:  Season 3 Premiere: Sunday, May 1, 2016  at 10 PM ET/PT

“…whenever you enjoy doing something, I believe It really shows.”  ~Wes Studi~

Category: Native Actors

Skyhawk Promises to give Natives A Voice in Hollywood!

“When a row erupted over the lack of diversity among this year’s Oscar nominations, nobody was more surprised – or pleased – than Sonny Skyhawk. An actor for almost 40 years and the founder of the advocacy group American Indians in Film and Television (AIIFT), Skyhawk may also be the first and only Native American member of the Motion Picture Academy…He intends to wear his war bonnet on the red carpet.” T. Walker Independent News-UK

Sonny Skyhawk has appeared in more than 50 movies Robert Ulrich

Sonny Skyhawk has appeared in more than 50 movies photo: Robert Ulrich

Excerpt: Sonny Skyhawk…vows to give his people a voice in Hollywood by Tim Walker, Independent News-UK

“We’ve become used to hearing the same boiler-plate answer from people high up in Hollywood: ‘Yes, we understand; we’re going to make changes,’  Skyhawk said of his own efforts to promote inclusion in film. But those changes were minuscule, if they were made at all. Now, at last, it has become a crisis in the entertainment industry, which is more than I could have wished for.

Native Americans remain the only major ethnic group in the US never to have won an Oscar. Just two native performers have ever been nominated, the last being Canadian First Nations actor Graham Greene in 1991, for Dances With Wolves.

Native actor Graham Greene Dances with Wolves 1990

Native actor Graham Greene Dances with Wolves 1990

Skyhawk was invited to join the Academy in 2015 and this will be his first Oscar ceremony…American Indians are better represented than usual at this year’s awards: several native performers appear in the  Best Picture nominee The Revenant.

Native actor Arthur Redcloud in The Revenant

Native actor Arthur Redcloud in The Revenant

The Revenant is the only 2016 film that stars Native actors.

The Revenant is the only 2016 film that stars Native actors.

Skyhawk voted for the film and its star, Leonardo DiCaprio, but native people have always been secondary characters. Dances With Wolves was supposed to be about natives, but ended up being about Kevin Costner. The Revenant’s the same.

Sonny Skyhawk phot- ICTMN

Sonny Skyhawk phot- ICTMN

Now in his sixties, Skyhawk, a citizen of South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux tribe, began acting as an extra on television Westerns such as Bonanza, in an era when many American Indians were played by white people in make-up, speaking gibberish instead of genuine tribal dialects.

AIIFT Poster

AIIFT Poster

He has appeared in more than 50 movies, but for the past 35 years has channelled much of his energies into activism. The AIIFT was founded in 1980, when the Western genre was going out of fashion and the number of jobs for Native American actors was dwindling. The organisation’s mission, he said, is to give his people a voice within the industry.”

“Everyone sees us as heathens on horseback, when in reality we’re doctors, lawyers, cab drivers – the same as mainstream America… But young people [in the native community] say they don’t see themselves represented on screen, so when I talk to them about becoming lawyers or getting a college education, they can’t imagine themselves in that mainstream. That’s unacceptable.” ~Sonny Skyhawk~

Don’t Miss Sonny Skyhawk on the red carpet:

Oscar Information.

Category: Native Actors