By Jon Niccum
“I pay attention to that almost automatically,” he says. “I don’t make a huge point of it, but on the other hand, if I see huge discrepancies that I feel are over the line I’ll definitely do something about it. I want to keep things as authentic as possible, especially if we’re describing a particular people.”
Has he turned down roles if depictions were inauthentic?
“Perhaps if they were insensitive, yes,” he says.
Needless to say, Studi's candor isn't preventing him from working often. I conclude that all Native actors should try to take a stand on Hollywood mistakes and stereotypes--at least the "huge discrepancies."
Below: Wes Studi stars in "The Only Good Indian" by Lawrence filmmaker Kevin Willmott. (Tyler Carmody Photo)