In the last few years, members of many Native American communities have impressed the best studios with their acting skills. But what’s more, is that these studios are telling more stories about these communities – their histories and their present-day lives.
Let’s shine some light on some of the most successful Native American actors in recent memory.
Of Piegan Blackfeet and Nez Perce descent, Lily Gladstone has taken Hollywood by storm with her dazzling performance as Molly Kyle in the Martin Scorsese epic “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
Based on the book of the same name, the movie focuses on the murders of the Osage people in 1920s Oklahoma, upon the discovery of oil on their tribal land. Gladstone stars alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, of all people.
Hailing from Quebec, First Nations lady Devery Jacobs (on the left) has had recurring roles in shows such as “The Order” and “American Gods.” But her recent rise to fame can be attributed to her breakout role in the FX series “Reservation Dogs.”
This show is about a charming group of Native American teenagers, mourning the death of their best friend and trying to make a life for themselves, while growing up on a reservation in the Muscogee Nation.
Jacobs also lent her voice to the original Marvel Cinematic Universe character Kahhori in the popular Disney+ animated series “What If…?.”
Raised in the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin, Alaqua Cox has made a splash in the acting world for embracing her identity as a Native American, a member of the deaf community, and an amputee.
The rising young actress is best known for her role as the superhero Echo, which she first portrayed in the MCU show “Hawkeye.” Cox has since reprised her role in her very own spinoff series, aptly titled “Echo.”
The son of a Hunkpapa Lakota woman, Zahn McClarnon has actually been around the acting circuit for a while now. After having one-off roles in shows like “Baywatch,” “Murphy Brown,” and “Chicago Hope,” McClarnon finally got his break with a recurring role on the series “Longmire.”
But it was his role as the cold-killer Hanzee Dent in season two of “Fargo” that took his career to a whole new level. Since then, McClarnon has had noteworthy roles in “Westworld,” “Reservation Dogs,” and “Dark Winds.”
With plenty of notable guest roles in shows like “Longmire” and “Banshee,” Amber Midthunder’s star was on the rise very early. She also had memorable roles in shows like “Legion” and “Roswell, New Mexico.”
But she finally became a Hollywood star when she played the main character Naru in the film “Prey,” a prequel to the “Predator” series. She plays a young Comanche woman in the 1700s who manages to go toe-to-toe with one of the titular aliens.