“Reservation Dogs” is a 2021 American comedy TV series directed by Sydney Freeland and Sterlin Harjo. It is the first of its kind because it features indigenous personalities across different countries.
The writers, directors, producers, and cast are all indigenous people. The movie was entirely shot in Oklahoma, and it premiered on August 9, 2021.
It is a comedy series that focuses on the lives of young people with great talents in the streets of Oklahoma. Thanks to “Reservation Dogs,” these teenagers have moved to a new level of fame.
Some actors played their debut roles in the series, while others were featured in some movies before.
One of the lead actors, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, has been featured in previous projects but received widespread attention from “Reservation Dogs.” Who is Woon-A-Tai? What was he known for before his role in “Reservation Dogs?” Keep reading to get detailed answers.
What Makes The Show A Unique Indigenous Production?
Although there have been movies with indigenous storylines and plots, this sitcom goes beyond those aspects. The writing, production, directing, and graphics team all exhibit unique creativity.
It was shot in just one state in America to portray a particular image or representation. Additionally, the plot centers around teenagers who do everything possible to move from Oklahoma to California. One of the co-writers, Taika Waititi, believes that movies are an avenue for people to tell their childhood stories to the world, letting them know where they come from and their struggles for survival.
View this post on Instagram
The series is based on the real-life childhood story of one of the lead actors, Sterlin Harjo, who hails from Oklahoma, United States.
Movie critics gave the production an average rating of 8.3 out of 10. The reception is phenomenal, and some of these young actors are already getting recognized in the industry due to the series’ success.
The first season was shot in English, and it has eight episodes on air presently. The movie plot was able to portray real-life experiences without leaving out some comedy scenes.
Who Is D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai?
D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai is an actor who was born on September 19, 2001, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is best known for his role as Bear Smallhill in “Reservation Dogs.”
He has a fraternal twin brother that he grew up with in Toronto, Canada, and he became active in the industry in 2018. His debut role was in “Holly Hobbie,” where he portrayed a character named Chase Whaley.
In 2019, the actor played Tom Longboat in a Canadian TV series titled “Murdoch Mysteries.” The drama premiered on January 20, 2008, and currently airs on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
View this post on Instagram
Last year, he acted a role in the two-season 2020 drama TV series titled “Tribal.” In the same year, he represented another character, Hank, in a 2020 film by Tracey Deer, “Beans.”
Woon-A-Tai has been in previous movies, but his most recognizable role remains Bear Smallhill in the indigenous 2021 movie.
His Role in ‘Reservation Dogs’
The character he portrays in the series is a teenager trying his best to leave the rural areas of Oklahoma to California while moving with his mates.
The character is always nervous, and it makes him misbehave in crucial situations. However, he has good energy around him, and he channels it into becoming successful in different ways.
During a conversation with Vogue, he explained how important his heritage is to him. He also discussed how he channels his fashion lifestyle to exhibit his culture as an indigenous person.
In photoshoot sessions, he has also showcased indigenous labels and fashion teams on how to express your culture with your lifestyle.
The Cultural Backgrounds Of The Cast
The word ‘indigenous’ does not mean that every individual on each team comes from the same hometown. It is the ability to fuse different cultures from different places.
One of the co-writers, Waititi, is from New Zealand. Devery Jacobs, a co-star on the TV series, is from Canada. She has also been featured in previous projects. Lane Factor, who is the youngest of the teenagers, is from Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Paulina Alexis, who portrayed the character, Willie Jack, hails from Canada. The Canadian actress was also cast in Tracey Deer’s 2020 film, “Beans.”
Factor, the youngest teenager among the four, played his debut role in “Reservation Dogs” and is set to appear in more films in the future. The coming together of people from different places creates an avenue for cultural representation.