page 2 of 2
If you could vote, who would you vote for in the United States? Obama or Romney - why?
Obama! I saw Obama during his Inaugural train tour into Washington DC, in February 2009. [He] came through Baltimore where I was studying at the time. People were literally dancing in the streets, the feeling of hope was so great! I was deeply moved. Now there's a leader - someone who can inspire millions!
What advice do you have for Natives who don't think their vote matters?
Of course our vote counts! It's one small thing we can do to flex our muscles and show our power! I do not think our basic rights as Indigenous peoples are given to us - we have to exercise them! So, yes, tell everyone (especially yourself) that what you think and feel is tremendously important, and cast your vote with aplomb!
By the way, what is your favorite scene in
My favorite scene is easily the final one where Victor throws his father's ashes into the river, collapses to the ground in slow motion, and Ulali (those Indigenous angels!) start to sing Wah Jhi Le Yihm. Unbelievable cinematic moment. I still cry when I see it, 15 years later!
What was it like working with Irene Bedard?
I really love Irene Bedard! She is truly a gorgeous, rare flower that you cannot help but be spellbound by. But she is a gifted, honest actor too who works very hard! I wish we had worked together more!
How close is your personality like Thomas Builds-the-Fire?
I am not at all like Thomas, except maybe in that I like to tell stories. At home, we tease a lot, and I think Thomas and I both like to do that through stories that contain a lot of baloney! I'm so glad people liked him. I tried so hard every day, while we were shooting, to portray him as the most beautiful old Indian lady you ever met, who loved you so much, and would give his/her life for you because that how's we were! I don't think many people know that, in my mind, I was playing the most beautiful old Indian woman in the world when I was Thomas! Watch it again!
Tell us about your personal life.
I'm a doctor who's very close to my rez family, grew up pretty traditionally, and am now married with 6 kids! I'm so glad I got to play Thomas - it was a life-changing gift! And now, when I meet people who recognize me, they still get disappointed that I'm not actually like Thomas and I can't tell them stories!
Levi Rickert contributed to this interview.
posted September 7, 2012 4:50 pm edt