“Wonder Woman” star Eugene Brave Rock looked to a First Nations hero for inspiration.
The Alberta-native who grew up in the Kainai Nation channelled World War I hero Mike Mountain Horse for his role as Chief, an opportunist who trades with both sides of the war in the ultra-successful “Wonder Woman”.
Mike Mountain Horse was a war hero and writer born on the Blood reserve near Fort Macleod who joined the war effort to avenge his brother’s death. Afterwards, “he ended up becoming an editor and wrote his own book,” Brave Rock says in a piece from the Calgary Herald. “To read his words and stories was very powerful for me.”
“The other stories I read were great,” the actor continues. “But it wasn’t first-hand, it was somebody else’s interpretation of what happened to these native Americans during World War I. The honours and accomplishments he had… I mean, I really took that in.”
The actor even inserted some of his roots into the film, introducing himself to Wonder Woman in the language of Blackfoot.
Brave Rock describes the movie shoot as “really tough. When you’re doing 30 takes and you’re running through the trenches, and every time you take a step your foot literally goes into the ground a foot down,” he explains. “And with the gear — I’m wearing probably, I would say, 100 to 150 pounds on me — that was really tough.”
He says he had no clue what he was auditioning for when he got the role. “There wasn’t any lines from the production of Wonder Woman,” he reveals. “It was lines from a previous movie that was done several years ago. I didn’t know it was for ‘Wonder Woman'”.
And the actor has plenty of success yet to come, having shot a TV series in Budapest called “Jamestown” and playing a role in the upcoming Liam Neeson action film “Hard Powder.”
“I hope this opens doors for myself as well as many other native Americans out there to be in the film business,” he concludes. “Again, I’m just a kid from the Blood reserve. If I can do it, there’s hope for anybody.”