In The Hot List, Part I, we let the boys have their day, spotlighting charismatic Native actors Chaske Spencer, Tatanka Means, Moses Brings Plenty, Michael Spears, and Kiowa Gordon. We told you there would be more parts — and here’s the second. These five actresses light up the screen whenever they get a chance, and even when they’re in between jobs they’ll keep your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram feeds beautiful. Here they are — five Native actresses you have to see.
Tonantzin Carmelo, Tongva and Kumeyaay, attracted a lot of attention back in 2005 as Thunder Heart Woman in Into the West, and she has been regularly employed in Hollywood ever since. How many other Native thespians can say they’ve been in acclaimed indie films (Shouting Secrets, The Activist), the video game Dead Space, and the animated TV series American Dad!? Carmelo grew up dancing in a troupe led by her mother, Virginia Carmelo, and has released three albums of traditional Native music in the Canyon Records label.
Connect: Tonantzin Carmelo’s official site
Julia Jones’ career was given a big boost when she was picked to play Leah Clearwater in the Twilight Saga movies, but she was already on her way, having appeared as Dr. Kaya Montoya on ER and in the Tarantino-produced grindhouse flick Hell Ride. She has choctaw and Chickasaw heritage, and like a number of her male co-stars in Twilight she has made the most of the opportunity offered by the young-adult blockbuster franchise. Her mainstream credits include Jonah Hex, and she has brought her chops to Native-themed productions California Indian and Winter in the Blood. She’ll next grace the big screen in The Tao of Surfing.
Connect: @JuliaRJones on Twitter
There’s always one in every crowd — the beauty who can beat you up if you step out of line. Sera-Lys McArthur, of the Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation, recently became an expert in kung fu to play Skye Daniels in a pilot for a two-girl superhero buddy series called Skye & Chang. “I am so grateful for the clarity and strength that Kung Fu has brought to my life,” McArthur told ICTMN. McArthur also had an eight-episode run on Arctic Air, a CBC series starring Adam Beach and Carmen Moore.
Connect: @SeraLys on Twitter
Sandra Hinojosa’s heritage is part Hispanic and part Native (Walpole Island First Nation, of Ontario, Canada), and as you can see it’s an effective mix. She also seems to be going for official status in the Scream Queen tribe: In the forthcoming The X-Species (2014) she’ll be fleeing an unearthed prehistoric predator; she has previously been seen in Reel Evil (2012) and the TV series 1000 Ways to Die (also 2012).
You might be totally unsurprised to learn that she’s also a model, and as such is a big supporter of Crow/Northern Cheyenne designer Bethany Yellowtail.
K. Devery Jacobs
Mohawk actress Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs has been appearing in movies and TV shows for years, but on the strength of her performance in a couple of diverse and Natve-themed projects, she’s suddenly today’s most exciting up-and-coming Native actress. She plays the lead character, Alia, in the acclaimed Rhymes for Young Ghouls, and was nominated in the Best Actress category at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards.She then showed up in A Tribe Caled Red’s “Sisters” music video, and in Indian country you cannot be in a hipper place than a Tribe Called Red video. She is also attached to Mohawk Girls, a series that has been in development for years and that we hope, someday, to see.
Connect: @KDeveryJacobs on Twitter