The 24-year-old actor will play John Lichtfield, a staff member at Pilgrim Village who’s “handsome, buff, tanned and shirtless; he’s everything you’d want in a Native American. Also starring Nicholas Braun and Anna Popplewell, the show is a workplace comedy that follows a pack of theme park employees who specialize in recreating 1600s New England.
What qualifies Blackburn to play a Native?
EXCLUSIVE: Pretty Little Liars’ Tyler Blackburn talks Caleb, music, women, and the possibility of becoming a vampire!
By Gabrielle Compolongo
I’ve been told that many times, that I’d make a great vampire. I would love to play a bad vampire. Bad to the bone. That would be really fun.
I could see where people would see me playing either a vampire or a wolf. I do have Native American in me, and some people think that automatically makes for a good werewolf.
What are your nationalities?
It’s a mix. I’m a lot of European. I’m English, Welsh, Yugoslavian, and those two have a lot of darker features. I’m also Czech Republic and Cherokee and Comanche.
A bit on his role in Brave New World, now called The New World:
The Futon's First Look: "The New World" (NBC)
By Brian Ford Sullivan
Along the way we meet the rest of the pilgrims: Hannah (Jazz Raycole), who takes performing a little too seriously; John (Tyler Blackburn), a Native American Adonis who's always hitting on everyone; Girish (Asif Ali), John's exasperated fellow Indian ("I'm an Indian playing a Native American," he quips. "I'm offending two types of people.")....
All in all, is there a silly five-minute sketch in here? Probably. A series?
The bottom line: Probably not.
Blackburn fits in with what I've been saying. Hollywood wants Indians only if they fit the "Native American Adonis" mold. Like Johnny Depp and Brandon Routh. Actual Natives with diverse ethnic looks need not apply.
Someone on Facebook agrees:
For more on casting, see Asian Indian Cast as Navajo and Fox Eliminates Diversity Department.