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Wes Studi as Eytukan



AWARDS

American Indian Film Festival
Won 2008 American Indian Movie Award
Best Supporting Actor
for: Older Than America

First Americans in the Arts Awards
Won 2000 Artist of the Decade

Western Heritage Awards
Won 1994 Bronze Wrangler


FILMOGRAPHY

The Hard Ride (2010)
The Last Horseman (2010)
Palominas (2009)
Avatar (2009)
We Shall Remain (2009)
The Undying (2009)
The Hunter's Moon (2008)
Kings (2009)
The American Experience (2009)
The Only Good Indian (2009)
Call of the Wild (2009)
Three Priests (2008)
Camino, El (2008)
Comanche Moon (2008)
Older Than America (2008)
Bury My Heart
at Wounded Knee (2007)
Cosmic Radio (2007)
Seraphim Falls (2006)
The New World (2005)
Miracle at Sage Creek (2005)
Animal (2005)
Into the West" (2005)
A Thief of Time (2004)
A Warrior in Two Worlds (2004)
Echoes from
Juniper Canyon (2004)
Edge of America (2003)
Coyote Waits (2003)
The Lone Ranger (2003)
The Ugly One (2003)
Skinwalkers (2002)
Undisputed (2002)
Superfire (2002)
UC: Undercover (2002)
Road to Redemption (2001)
Christmas in the Clouds (2001)
Ice Planet (2001)
Mystery Men (1999)
Soundman (1998)
Deep Rising (1998)
Wind River (1998)
Adventures from
the Book of Virtues (1997)
Promised Land (1997)
Crazy Horse (1996)
Lone Justice 3 (1996)
The Killing Jar (1996)
Heat (1995)
Streets of Laredo (1995)
500 Nations" (1995)
Lone Justice 2 (1995)
Street Fighter (1994)
Wolfridge (1994)
The Broken Chain (1993)
Geronimo: An
American Legend (1993)
Ned Blessing: The Story of
My Life and Times (1993)
Highlander (1992)
The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
The Doors (1991)
Dances with Wolves (1990)
Powwow Highway (1989)
The Trial of
Standing Bear (1988)





BIOGRAPHIES - WES STUDI



Wes Studi

Wes Studi
Avatar Role: Eytukan
Source: Movies.NYTimes.com


Full-blooded Cherokee actor Wes Studi didn't discover his true calling until much later in life than most actors.

Stricken by his vocational teacher's early advice that he should be realistic and settle for life as a low-paid and under-appreciated worker, Studi admits that the advice cast a shadow under which he lived for years, uninspired to seek his fortune in the face of overwhelming adversity and slim odds of finding true success.

Born in Nofire Hollow, OK, in 1946 (or maybe 1947), Studi laughingly admits that there is some uncertainty to the actual date), the soft-spoken actor was the eldest of four sons and spent the majority of his childhood in Northeastern Oklahoma.

The son of a ranch hand, Studi received his early education at Chilocco Indian School before graduating high school and being drafted into the army. Soon after being drafted Studi served 18 months in Vietnam.

Returning disillusioned by the horrors of war and the sometimes hostile reception that veterans received, Studi drifted for a couple of years, spending much of his time traveling and visiting his old Vietnam buddies. Seeking further sustenance, Studi entered Tulsa Junior College on the G.I. Bill.

After Tulsa, Studi became inspired to make a difference in peoples lives, soon joining the American Indian Movement. Later attending Tahlequah University, Studi made further attempts at positive influence in his work with the Cherokee Nation. Though he had been married previously, the relationship had failed and Studi remarried in 1974. Working for the Tulsa Indian Times while his wife worked as a teacher, the couple had two children while living in their Tulsa ranch before his second marriage suffered the same unfortunate fate as his first.

It was the breakup of this marriage that found Studi discovering his true calling as an actor. Studi found success appearing in theater as well as in productions for Nebraska Public Television in the summer of 1985. It was after Studi's role in the 1988 PBS production The Trial of Standing Bear that he fully realized his passion for acting.

Soon deciding to make the fateful move to Los Angeles, Studi found work in such films as Dances With Wolves and Last of the Mohicans before taking a starring role in 1993's Geronimo: An American Legend. Making memorable appearances in such films as Heat, Crazy Horse, and Deep Rising, Studi flourished in his new calling, finding frequent work with his expressive features and warm sense of humor.



By Brad Balfor | Excerpt: huffingtonpost.com

It was no coincidence that actor Wes Studi was cast an the tribal chief Eytukan in director James Cameron's Golden Globe-winning 3D film Avatar or as bounty hunter Sam, the lead character in Kevin Willmott's The Only Good Indian. From the days he was in Dances With Wolves with fellow native American Graham Green, Studi's been a go-to guy for authentic native American characterizations. And though he has often played parts that had nothing to do with his heritage, his passion, and total commitment has made him immediately recognizable.

For the 63-year-old Studi, being a Native American has been a driving force for his career --whether in terms of the characters he has played or the issues they have addressed. Usually his performances are charged by a strong, almost arrogant stance, as if expressed by a man who is proud to have not only survived but thrived.

Vietnam vet, sculptor, musician, author, and activist, Studi caught Hollywood and the public's attention being in more than 50 film and television productions including Last of the Mohicans, Geronimo: An America Legend, Comanche Moon, Streets of Laredo, Mystery Men, The New World, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee and Seraphim Falls. He also starred as Tony Hillerman's Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn in a triology of PBS films produced by Robert Redford--Skinwalkers, A Thief of Time and Coyote Waits. And before join the blue-skinned cast of Avatar, he hit the bullseye as General Linus Abner in the TV mini series, Kings.

This fit six-footer exclusively spoke his native Cherokee language until he started kindergarten. A professional horse trainer, Studi began acting at The American Indian Theatre Company in Tulsa getting his shot in Hollywood but he and wife Maura Dhu never became Californians; they now live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and perform in the band Firecat of Discord.

In Avatar, Studi plays an idealized character that comported itself with a dignity becoming of a tribal leader that represents the values and strength of the Na'vi--the tribe that resists the human invaders who threaten to destroy his community's way of life. In the indie-produced The Only Good Indian, he plays a very different character--a deeply conflicted Indian who stalks his own people--the young kids taken from their tribes and forced to be Christianized but who run away -- and strives for acceptance within a White world.

By becoming a successful actor and getting to be in a movie like Avatar where Wes was able to convey a message in a variety of ways, it's that part of the way he turned his anger into something positive. "That's the whole thing in that you can't allow the anger to hold you in a state of mind that would prevent you from doing anything positive about it", Studi said.

Avatar's native characters have some characteristics like indigenous peoples from Africa, but they seem so connected to Native American traditions -- the relationship with plants and animals, especially to the horses. Wes had an opportunity to infuse some of his own experience or ideas in the process. Wes explains, "I think a lot of the research had been done on the part of the writers themselves already. But yes, I could certainly relate to what was on the printed page, and I think they had a good understanding of the situation from a general viewpoint.

And the idea that Native Americans are perhaps more connected to nature is reflected in the Na'vi connectedness of the tree and the roots that expand everywhere. And it's a Native American premise to life that everything is connected and that we're all related in one way or another and it's a matter of cause and effect. You know the old story about the flapping of a butterfly in China has an effect on things that happen in Maine or someplace. It's all an interconnected being that we're a part of."



All of the news highlights on this page are excerpts, click on the source link for the complete article.



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