Fans of the Walking Dead franchise in Indian country have a lot to be excited about, as the latest episodes in Season Three of Fear the Walking Dead features a Native American tribe on the fictional Black Hat Reservation. The leader of the community is former tribal attorney Qaletaqa Walker, portrayed by Cree actor Michael Greyeyes.
Michael Greyeyes, who is known for his roles in Jimmy P, The New World, Dance Me Outside—and has an upcoming role as Sitting Bull in Woman Walks Ahead—says the role as Qaletaqa Walker on Fear the Walking the Dead is a dream come true.
“I am thrilled,” Greyeyes told ICMN. “I auditioned for this back in February. I am really a fan. I have been a fan of the zombie genre for two decades. I am hardcore, I buy these types of movies such as The Horde, 28 Days Later, I know them and quote them all.”
In the series, the Native community is at odds with local ranchers, known as the Ottos. The tribe and ranchers have fought over sacred lands as the cattle ranchers have long sought to take burial grounds from the Native people to increase their property.In the series, Greyeyes’ character Qaletaqa Walker meets with the children of the ranchers who hope to make peace. In a scene at the Black Hat Reservation diner, which has become a headquarters in the wake of the Zombie apocalypse, Walker screams at the Otto’s, “The day of the White Man’s courts are over!”Greyeyes says he was motivated to attack such a role due to the excellent writing at AMC and was thrilled to say such a powerful line.
“It was riveting for me as an indigenous man, a Cree man. I thought, 'I get to say this on a show that has millions of viewers. This is like one of those moments. I was excited to get the part, but I had no idea that it would have the scope that this character is allowed,” said Greyeyes.[text_ad]“We are in a precarious place as a culture and this is the era of Trump and Brexit, environmental degradation, sovereignty, water. This zombie genre is a distillation of all our fears, anxieties, all of the things inside our politics—it gives these thoughts and beliefs steroids.”
“I have two daughters, 12 and 15, and they are huge fans of the show Fear the Walking Dead. I was given screener episodes of 307 and 308 in preparation of my appearance on the after show Talking Dead. During the scene where I am in the diner and I scream 'stop talking, you are boring me like you did in court' and during that scene they leapt from the couches and screamed, 'We gotta see it again!'”
The good news, according to Greyeyes, is that his character will continue to be a big part of the show.
“At first I was really excited, and then they said it was a recurring character. Recurring means you are a guest star on the show. I thought, 'wow two or three episodes.' Then they said it was going to be for six episodes and I was like, 'what?' I was super jazzed because I realized six episodes means that this person is going to have some impact on the narrative.”
“After working for a couple of episodes, they started to expand my presence even more. I ended up filming 8 or 9 episodes in addition to the six they originally hired me for. They were like, 'We got a good one here people.'
Catch episodes and information regarding Fear the Walking Dead on AMC here: http://www.amc.com/shows/fear-the-walking-dead.
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