Arts & Entertainment | Canada

Blog: Interview with Adam Beach about Natives and Hollywood

"CBC's winter season is about to start and they asked me to come in and chat with some of their stars. Adam Beach is a familiar face on both sides of the border, with am impressive resume ranging from North of 60 to Flags of our Fathers; yet somehow the first thing I ask him about is Twilight.

People talk a lot about Taylor Lautner, being this young leading man who's also a native actor...

Adam quickly cuts me off.

"Well, it's very controversial, cause he isn't native. And there's speculation of a couple of other "native" actors who aren't native. And for me, when it comes to the demographic of native actors and filmmakers, there's a very small percentage. And when you take a movie that has a worldwide success and you're not hiring native talent, you're really pointing fingers at them saying "you're not good enough. You're not worth playing yourselves. We're going to hire a non-Indian to make you guys look good." And I don't believe that they're taking any of the steps that I've been struggling and striving to do in the past 15 years. It kinda makes me feel that Hollywood has no intention to change when it comes to changing that perspective and demographic of minorities in film and television."

Wow. This is not the conversation I expected to get into. On the other hand, it does bring up a nagging question: there are some people who would say that it's colour-blind casting and they're just hiring the appropriate person for that role. I mean, I'm Irish and there's always non-Irish people playing Irish. So how do you ride that balance between colour-blind casting and the need to embrace history and heritage? "

Get the Story:
Getting "Native" with Adam Beach (Urban Moms 1/4)

Join the Conversation