Wes Studi

Jen Boyer

Last week, Cherokee actor, producer and Academy Honorary Award winner Wes Studi lent his star power to raise awareness about how COVID-19 is impacting Indian Country. He teamed up with the Native led non-profit Partnership with Native Americans for this public service announcement that highlighted the urgent need in some tribal communities.

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Native American actor Wes Studi has appeared in more than 80 film and television productions — including "The Last of the Mohicans," "Dances with Wolves" and "Avatar" — portraying Indigenous characters with nuance and authenticity.

Now, he's set to become the first Native American to win an Oscar.

It only stands to reason that the most surprising Oscars might be followed by the least surprising Oscars.

The new film Hostiles tells the story of a U.S. Army captain in the Old West circa 1892. He's spent decades fighting Native Americans and seeing his friends killed, and he's ordered to commit an act of humanitarian relief. The bitter veteran, played by Christian Bale, is tasked with escorting an old Cheyenne chief, played by Wes Studi, back to his home valley to die.

In the film, Studi only speaks a few words of English. His character's most powerful moments come when he conveys meaning with a gesture or expression.