One of those instances will be a key moment in a new Bill Murray movie, “Hyde Park on Hudson” which will be released December 7. The film centers on the historic 1939 meeting between President Franklin Roosevelt and King George and Queen Elizabeth of England at FDR’s home in New York. It was during that meeting that Te Ata performed for the dignitaries, and also represented Native American culture to the world leaders.
Playing Te Ata is an actress with Choctaw and Japanese heritage, Kumiko Konishi.
Before getting the part, Konishi said she wasn’t familiar with Te Ata. However, she soon began to research her and learned she was an important figure not only in Native American culture but to Americans and to women in general.
“What was kind of crazy in not knowing about her was how rounded she was in her accomplishments and as a person,” Konishi said. “In that time, to have such an education and such a worldliness to be able to travel on her own, on her own accord to spread the word and educate people on our culture. I felt there was a beauty inside of her and a regalness. She had an energy that apparently emanated from wherever she went.”
Below: Headshot of actress Kumiko Konishi.