Saturday, November 28, 2009

The WolfPack: Hunks With Hair

Bronson Pelletier (Jared)

Age: 22

Background: Plains Cree tribe of the Askinootow First Nations

Bio: The Vancouver Island, British Columbia, native was among the most experienced actors, landing roles in Discovery Kids’ “DinoSapien” and “Renegadepress,” a Canadian youth TV show.

How he prepared to play someone from a different tribe: “It’s 2009, I Googled it!”

A stroke of luck: Pelletier said he landed the first audition he ever went on. “I went to an audition with no agent, no head shot, nothing. That same day, I got the call that I got the part. It’s like I woke up one morning not knowing what I was going to do with my life and I ended the day with a career.”

Kiowa Gordon (Embry)

Age: 19

Background: First Nation descendant of the Hualapai Nation

Bio: This is Gordon’s first role. He was cast straight out of high school. “I go to church with (author) Stephenie Meyer. She told me about the audition. I went to an acting coach an hour before the audition, and it turned out to be pretty easy and really fun.”

Musician at heart: Gordon, who recently moved to L.A. with his 25-year-old brother, hopes his success will also help his rock band, which is tentatively called Anything and Everything.

Alex Meraz (Paul)

Age: 24

Background: First Nation descendant of the Purepecha (Tarasco) Nation based out of Michoacan, Mexico.

Bio: Meraz, who is also a painter and illustrator, has had a variety of small roles as American Indian dancers and warriors in films like “The New World.”

Escape through acting: Growing up on a reservation, Meraz saw acting as a way out. “You look at glitz and glamour. You can make a lot of money doing nothing, you know, compared to construction. I’ve always been an artist, and acting is the medium I just loved the most. I want to tell stories. I think that’s culturally specific to being native. We have that cultural background in telling stories. It’s instinctive almost.”

Chaske Spencer (Sam)

Age: 34

Background: First Nation descendant of Lakota (Sioux) Nation

Bio: The eldest Wolf Pack member has had several American Indian-based roles on TV miniseries and shows like “DreamKeeper.”

Name game: His first name is pronounced “Chess-Kay.”

Breaking stereotypes: Spencer hopes his part as head werewolf Sam, will change the American Indian stereotype. “The history of Hollywood and the way Native Americans are portrayed in movies is very racist. I think ‘Dancing With Wolves’ was a pinnacle moment and it started going forward from there. This movie, it’s going to be so big, plus it thrusts us onto contemporary roles, it’s very exciting for us, and it opens a lot of doors. We’ve been getting offers for films that aren’t specifically designed for natives at all.”

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