Blowing up the movie screens in three films this summer, acclaimed actor Wes Studi can now be seen in “Road to Paloma,” a drama that revolves around violence against Native women. He will also be heard as the voice of a firefighting helicopter in the animated Disney film, “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” and he can also be seen appearing as Cochise in “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” a “Blazing Saddles” type comedy.
Studi talked to ICTMN recently—here are 10 things you might not know about him:
He has 86 film credits.
He has played the iconic roles of Red Cloud, Wovoka, Cochise, and Geronimo.
He is humble and was surprised to hear he is considered the most recognized Native actor working in film today.
He spoke only Cherokee until he was 5 years old.
He got his acting start in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and because of a play called, “Black Elk Speaks” he was cast in his first television appearance in Nebraska.
He got his first agent through the American Indian Registry for Performing Arts and gives tribute to founders Jay Silverheels and Will Sampson.
His first film was the 1989 “Pow Wow Highway” and his second, in 1990, was the role of the “Toughest Pawnee” in “Dances With Wolves.”
In the film “Avatar,” Studi was filmed wearing a suit with points that captured his movements by digital cameras, and a helmet with an arm that swung out, while an LED light and camera filmed his facial expressions. All of his filming took place in an area the size of half a basketball court.
Bucket List film: He’d like to do an Italian “Spaghetti Western.” He once did a German film, in English, called “The Ice Planet.”
Studi’s favorite kind of work is films, though he loves it all. “I like to be real busy,” he said, and his IMBD page proves he is.