Production team gives Native American’s an opportunity to represent

Production team gives Native American’s an opportunity to represent
(Photo Courtesy, Northeastern State University) Killers of the Flower Moon author David Grann spoke at Northeastern State University in 2018.

By: Lani Hansen, Reporter

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– On Nov. 13 the production team for the movie “Killers of the Flower Moon” opened a casting call in Tulsa seeking Native American men and women.

The film will be based off the number one true crime best-seller book written by David Grann. Killers of the Flower Moon goes back to the 1920s when the Osage tribe became the wealthiest people because oil was disovered on their land. Then, people of the tribe were being killed which led to FBI’s first investigation according to Grann’s website.

The movie is directed by Martin Scorsese with star actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Di Niro. The auditions for the movie called for individuals who were interested in having a speaking part in the film or a background extra.

Muscogee (Creek) citizen Erika Harjo was one of hundreds who took part in the auditions that day.

In an interview with Mvskoke Radio Harjo said, “I just went to the auditions to see if I could get a part or even as an extra.”

For Harjo, being in a movie never crossed her mind even as a child but for her daughter it always comes across her mind. When she first heard about the opening auditions, Harjo’s daughter was the one telling her she should do it.

“I had seen they were going to be doing casting calls for children but at a later time, so she is wanting to do that,” Harjo said about her daughter.

Before going to the auditions Harjo looked into what the story line was about kowing it was on the murders of the Osage tribe, but not knowing it was the birth of the FBI.

As Harjo stood in line she noticed there was a lot of people and was hoping she would at least get a call back. She stood in line for three hours that day with her daughters and sister.

“I was thinking if I could get at least a call back or be an extra I would be content with that, even if I do not there was a lot of potential there,” Harjo said about that day.

She explained the process of when they finally arrived at the front line.

“When we registered before they gave us a paper to fill out, then when we got up to the front they made us register again online so everything we have registered was all on that paper,” Harjo continued. “Once we finished with registering we had to stand in another line which was not even a minute long to make sure they got our full measurements. From there they moved us along to take a head shot and full body shot, then we was done.”

A lady had told her that they would be doing call backs soon but did not say an exact date or time.

“If I did get a call back I would definitely take the opportunity to do it,” Harjo said. “My girls are my biggest supporters I do everything for them, so I know they want to see me succeed too and they would be super happy.”

Majority of the call backs went to people who were Osage and many from the Pawnee tribe.

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  • Sonny Skyhawk
    December 4, 2019, 9:10 pm

    AIFT, AMERICAN INDIANS In FILM & TELEVISION, is a Native Rights advocacy organization in Hollywood that monitors the image and treatment of Native people in these mediums. For questions, Contact reelndn@charter.net

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  • Sonny Skyhawk
    December 4, 2019, 9:46 pm

    My deepest appreciation to KOTFM Production for the opportunities afforded in the casting of our Native people.
    AIFT- AMERICAN INDIANS IN FILM & TELEVISION

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