About a year and a half ago there was a casting call that was made to Province of Alberta. The need for first nations peoples in the movie “The Revenant” starring with actors such as Leonardo Dicaprio (Golden Globe for best actor in this film), and Tom Hardy. The movie was directed by Alejandro Innaritu (Golden Globe for best director). This action packed movie was filmed in our beautiful back yard in the Rocky Mountains, about 20 minutes outside Canmore, Alberta. Once the call was made for extras/actors that involved first nations people word quickly got to Maskwacis and almost 50+ people took their chances and went for their auditions that took place at Howard Buffalo Memorial Center. There was a lot of excitement due to the fact that actors like Leonardo, and Tom were a part of this movie and just the pure beauty of mother earth herself. Extras from Maskwacis made their big screen debut like Karlene Cutknife who has a short part in the film says “she really enjoyed the scenery, the actors and just the costumes on how realistic the makeup and clothing were, it amazed me. Just the tough 14 hour days waking up at 4 am and having to be ready and on set by 7 am that including breakfast and makeup it really took a lot out of you”. I had the chance to catch up with Brad Buffalo that told me about his experience with being a part of this movie he says “It was an unreal experience, I am very honored to be a part of such an amazing film. I would do prayers every day before we got on set with the sweet grass for the people of Maskwacis that were there and I was told by one of the producers that they noticed me doing that every day and that’s where I got my chance to be a part of this film not just being an extra but being the medicine man that you see sitting at the fire, for my first experience it was probably the best thing I’ve experienced in my life and I am very humble for the opportunity that was given to each and every one of us for being part of such an amazing movie that got nominated for 12 Oscars. . Heidi Brown also reflected the moments she had on set with me she says “The scene where Tom Hardy is at the table talking to the generals inside the lounge I was dancing in the background I could see myself because I remember my part and where I was but you can’t see my face, I wish people could have seen my face. It was unreal meeting those big time actors, and also being a part of this movie has lead me to other movie roles like the t.v. show Lewis and Clark. So more opportunities can happen, even though you’re an extra and for that I am grateful”. I myself watched the film and I seen a lot of faces that I recognized, not only from here but other movies as well, this movie is definitely top 10 in my books and I hope more opportunities happen like this for the people of Maskwacis because you never know what can happen maybe one day you’re an extra then become a part of the actual movie, It could change your life!
The photographs are: Karlene Cutknife (Left) Bradley Buffalo (Center) Heidi Brown (right)