Arts & Entertainment

Time: Adam Beach on Native roles in Hollywood


Time magazine interviews Native actor Adam Beach, whose portrayal of Pima soldier Ira Hayes in the Clint Eastwood film, "Flags of Our Fathers," earned him accolades.

As the only Native male actor in prominent Hollywood roles, Beach said the movie "was an ultimate achievement." He tells the magazine: "Look at the history of Native American people in Hollywood: they have not been represented in a human way on film. I didn't want this role to be about stereotypes. Ira Hayes has been played before as this raging alcoholic who is angry at the world. But he's not. He's very proud."

Beach says he doesn't know why movie studios cast non-Natives in Native roles.'Sometimes they'll write a character for a Native person and then say, 'Well, there's no Native actors that can capture the intensity of this character, so let's just make it a white person.' I've seen it time and time again," he says. "I also think that people in Hollywood don't believe that a Native or an ethnic person can be a draw and make money. There's so much politics involved."

Beach confirms that he will be appearing on NBC's successful "Law & Order: SVU" franchise. "It's history in the making: there will be a Native American individual who will be shown nationwide on television once a week," he says.

Get the Story:
Q&A with Adam Beach (Time 2/2)

Relevant Links:
Flags of Our Fathers -
Adam Beach, official message board -

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