Adam Beach is today one of the most successful Native actors in Hollywood—we went through this a couple weeks ago when it was announced that Beach is on board for Joe Dirt 2.
In 2011, Beach told Native Peoples that he considered the 2006 film Flags of our Fathers to be his best performance to date. "Emotionally, I brought attention to the chaos, despair, trials and tribulations of soldiers," he said. "Everyone who goes to war is affected by it. Personally, it hurt a lot to do that film. You take on something as dramatic as Ira Hayes, after work you still think about it and cry yourself to sleep." Beach told Time that the portrayal of the Native American soldier who helped raise the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima was his "ultimate achievement," and that he felt that the film "gave [Ira Hays] his spirit back."
Rectifying spiritual injustices is serious work, and not something you can just go out and do on a Tuesday afternoon in Hollywood. No, first you have to get the part, and triumphing in the audition process is a battle in itself. Here's the decade-old footage of Beach auditioning for the role—we have to admit, we agree with Flags' director Clint Eastwood. This kid has potential.