“In Wes Studi’s potent and pioneering acting career, he has played vengeful warriors, dying prisoners and impassioned resistance leaders. For three decades, he has arrestingly crafted wide-ranging portraits of the Native American experience. But one thing he had never done in a movie is give someone a kiss.” J. Coyle, ICT, July 31, 2022
Excerpt: For once, Cherokee actor Wes Studi cast as romantic co-star, By Jake Coyle, ICT, July 31, 2022
“In ‘A Love Song’ a tender indie drama starring another long-pigeonholed character actor, Dale Dickey, Studi is for the first time cast as a romantic co-star. Dickey plays a woman camping by a mountain lake awaiting the visit of an old flame.
Studi, the Cherokee actor who masterfully played the defiant Huron warrior Magua in Michael Mann’s ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ and who got his first big break playing the character credited only as the toughest Pawnee in ‘Dances With Wolves’, hasn’t been limited entirely to what he calls leather and feathers roles…But recently, Studi is increasingly getting a chance to play a wider array of characters.
Along with Max Walker-Silverman’s ‘A Love Song,’ which opens in theaters Friday, he’s a recurring, funny guest star on Sterlin Harjo’s “Reservation Dogs,” the second season of which debuts Aug. 3 on Hulu… In person, Studi bears little resemblance to his fiercer screen roles. He’s more like his characters in ‘A Love Song’ and ‘Reservation Dogs.’ Amiable. Quick to laugh. Self-deprecating. A good storyteller.
Dale Dickey, the actor of ‘Winter’s Bone’ and ‘Hell or High Water,’ grants she was a little nervous about the romantic moments that neither actor was particularly experienced in. ‘We’ve both played a lot of pretty rough people,’ she said in January during Sundance. ‘But he’s such a kind, sweet, gentle soul. It was our first screen kiss. We both laughed a lot about that. I don’t do leads in films. I do, you know, scary supporting roles that pop in and out with chainsaws and rifles and things’ Dickey says, laughing. ‘I’m like the recurring guest-star kinda thingy. So this was a big leap of faith. I was very nervous and insecure about my face being on screen that much.’
Studi has goals beyond what he ruefully refers to as his first ‘rom-com.’ ‘I’d like to play a lead that takes me from really good to really bad or vice versa, something that has a long arc to it,” says Studi. “I want to continue to do this until I can’t.’
Studi, who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife, Maura Dhu, has also seen one of his three children, son Kholan, pursue acting.”