PREY lands on The Mighty Dragon blog with actor Julian Black Antelope, who portrayed Chief Kehetu in the smash hit movie streaming on Hulu.
An Indigenous Canadian actor, with a drop of Irish blood. Julian represents the Buckskin, Black Horse family of the Weasel People. He is a self-taught actor who has built a solid career path in music, stunts, and working crew positions. His TV and film work has brought all his experience and physicality to many dynamic characters. I am proud to welcome ‘JBA’ onto The Mighty Dragon.
The origin story of the Predator in the world of the Comanche Nation 300 years ago. Naru, a skilled warrior, fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth.IMDb sypnosis
Julian Black Antelope
Could you tell me how you got into acting?
I dipped my toe in the film and TV arena back when I was playing music in Vancouver in the late 90’s. Someone had suggested I do some BG so I signed on with an agency and found my self on set of the 1st season of Star Gate SG1. It was pretty surreal. but never really gave it much thought other than some fast cash as a broke musician. That is until I relocated back to my home province of Alberta where in 2004 I got my first real shot as an actor in the Steven Spielberg mini-series “Into the West”. That was the set that lay the foundation of the course I sail today around the world as an Actor, Writer, Director and Producer.
We’ve recently seen you in PREY, what did you like most about your character?
Being the strong silent type (laughs) just kidding. I shot more than what ended up in the film, a lot of scenes got trimmed and so my characters storyline was one that got bumped. I really liked the character of Chief Kehetu, because he was flawed, both physically and in his perspective of not seeing the forest for the trees when it came to Naru. I hope fans eventually get to see the cut storylines perhaps in a directors cut or something. Its a bit disappointing but these things happen.
What do you feel has added to the enduring fascination with “Predator”?
For myself it was the connection to the original first two movies. I remember when I first saw Predator 2 and the scene at the end where the Predator leader turns to Lt. Mike Harrigan (Played by Danny Glover) and tosses him a flintlock out of respect for surviving the battle with one of his own. Its where we first saw proof that this race of intergalactic hunters has been around since the time of our ancestors. It had such an impact on me as it resonated with the cultural stories I grew up hearing about Star People coming to visit so the Indigenous connection hits home for me as it has for the non-indigenous audience as well.
Can you share any funny/memorable moments from the set?
Hmnn…not so much on set as it was straight into the meat of the scenes, but I do have to say the 4.5 hours spent in make up each day to age me had its comical moments for sure. After having my skin stretched in every possible direction and stippled with latex for a month my make up artist, the talented Rose Gurevitch, noted how my skin was starting to keep the sagging skin look without the latex!
You also created, wrote and directed The Secret History of: The Wild West. Could you tell us more about this series?
The SECRET HISTORY TM series is a 13-part docu/drama series that utilizes a strategic blend of cinematic live action re-enactments, speaker testimony, animation and archive photos that offers a seldom heard Indigenous perspective on historical Indigenous figures that shaped North American history. Instead of the conventional docu series “host”, Secret History tells these stories through the eyes of the “Trickster” character played by myself. The Trickster character is part of our indigenous mythology and in fact found in virtually every culture worldwide in one form or another. By using a dramatic character to break the fourth wall and guide the viewer along “Trickster” sets the tone for each moment and provides valuable context and information in an entertaining fashion to move the story along.
The First season “Secret History TM: The Wild West”, looked at the mystical and metaphysical influences behind these figures who helped shape western Canada. While researching that season I noticed there was barely anything about Women and so wanted to focus an entire season on Indigenous women who have made extraordinary contributions to our culture and societies leading lives as healers, leaders, political advisors and even warriors. Unfortunately, mainstream history has painted these women in a supporting role if not a “back-seat” to dominating male historical narratives and so as a creator of content I wanted to remedy that with our second Season “Secret History TM: Women Warriors” which I have just recently finished shooting and am In postproduction on.
From your career so far, what has been your favourite character and why?
When it comes to acting and the characters I play, I’m in love with them all and sad to see each one go and when they do a tiny piece of me goes with them. But If I had to pick I would say my top three are:
“ARGENT in the soon to be released Netflix/Dark Horse Comics series GRENDEL”
“CHEEON in Jeremy Saulnier’s feature film HOLD THE DARK”.
“DARRIEN TAILFEATHERS from the BLACKSTONE Television series
I love these characters because they are flawed, vulnerable and doing what they believe to be right no matter how f’d up their actions may seem.
Is there a genre you haven’t tried yet that you’d like to?
Hmnnnn…If we are speaking as a formal engagement, I’d have to say Comedy. No one ever sees me as being a funny guy. I think I’m funny…or maybe that’s the funny part?
Your instagram shows glimpses into your working and family life which I found quite touching. Will your daughters follow your acting footsteps?
Our two older ones have dabbled in the arts but are carving out their own path with it, which I whole heartedly encourage. Our youngest daughter Sparrow genuinely wants to act. In fact,when she was only 8 she wrote directed and acted in her very first short film so I definitely see her pursuing that path, and especially after she got to see Prey I know it was inspiring for her to see a young Indigenous woman in such a huge role.
You’re a founder of the Counting Coup Indigenous Film Academy, could you tell me more about that initiative?
Its a progressive, state-of-the-art, holistic educational environment for intensive creative work, where emerging and aspiring First Nations artists can effectively and successfully gain industry recognized certification skills and practical hands-on paid training and work experience to establish the foundations of a professional film career in the Canadian film and television industry.
Ever since I started working in film back in 2004, I had the dream of creating an all-inclusive school for First Nations storytellers to learn everything from acting and stunt performance to writing, directing, producing and every job in-between that it takes to tell a story in this medium. Currently we are partnered with Old Sun Community College on the SiksikaNation here in Southern Alberta, and because they are a certified academic institution this makes our academy the first of its kind whom without them none of this would have been possible.
What else do you have coming up?
I’ve got a few pies in the oven. As for what kind?..that’s a secret.
For Information on SECRET HISTORY 2nd TV Series go to:www.secrethistorytvseries.com
For more information on COUNTING COUP: INDIGENOUS FILM ACADEMY