April 20, 2012

From More than Frybread to Tiger Eyes

A Last Real Indians Interview with Tatanka Means

By Nicole Montclair-DonaghyLastrealindians.com recently interviewed accomplished actor, standup comedian Tatanka Means (Oglala Lakota/Omaha/Dine) via telephone to discuss his current movie roles, business ventures, and recent shows with his comedy group, 49 Laughs Comedy.

Among his many accomplishments such as playing one of history’s most influential people, Crazy Horse, in the 6 part miniseries “Into the West.” Tatanka related the experience to playing the messiah, and that it was an honor to be given the role. When asked how he landed in acting, he stated that his first role was playing a stunt double in the 2004 film “Black Cloud.” That, ironically, was being shot in the gym in which he trained for the boxing career that eventually led him to more than 6 boxing championship titles.

Several of Tatanka’s current roles include indie film mockumentary, “More than Frybread.” The actor plays Buddy Begay, who, with 21 Arizona tribal representatives, convene in Flagstaff, Arizona to compete for the first ever Annual State of Arizona Frybread Championship (IMDb). The film received excellent reviews, and it was noted that Means is the comedic highlight of the film. Even more currently, Means co-stars in author Judy Blume’s book to film, Tiger Eyes. The book, written in 1981, is about a young girl coping with the death of her father. Then she meets Means’ character, Wolf. Their paths in life share a similarity. Tatanka stated that he was thrilled to work alongside Blume, and that he is proud of his current roles that portray his Native characters as modern everyday 21st century people. He would like that image to progress further away from the stereotypical ‘Hollywood Indian.’ Look for him in two new feature films that will begin shooting in May.
Comment:  For more on Tatanka Means, see More than Frybread is "Must-See" and All About Tatanka Means.

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