Interview: Eugene Brave RockMarch 21, 2018
Recently, we had the chance to talk with Eugene Brave Rock about his acting and stunt work during a media roundtable at Toronto Comic Con.
The GCE: So how did you initially get into stunt work?
Eugene: I was taking every opportunity I could. When I got into the business at age seventeen as a theatrical actor, I was approached by some people, they were doing the program North of 60, and there was an actor who committed suicide, Mervin Good Eagle, so they wanted to promote the awareness of the signs of suicide. This gave me the opportunity to ride a horse and I was asked, are you ok if you or the horse was to fall while the show was going on, and I was like sure, so I kind of just fell into it. In my career, every opportunity has been a stepping stone and it’s been a long journey and a long staircase.
Media: You were invited back to the reserve in Alberta. What did that mean to you and to see the children come up to you and recognize you?
Eugene: That’s the biggest honor I could receive. Knowing my core audience is where I come from, to share the power of believing in your dreams and to have that full revolution of me being that little kid seeing that Native American on television and saying hey, someday that’s going to be me, and now that is me. To be able to give some hope and time to my people is amazing, I’m very thankful.
Media: During the movie Wonder Woman, you were able to choose one of the parts of your costume. What did that mean to you, to have that choice?
Eugene: I think it’s amazing. Being in the business, the opportunity has never really been there for me, directors, producers, writers, they have this story in their head before it ever comes out on camera, it their perspective on the indigenous community or indigenous man so it was nice to share my own thoughts, my own issues, my own language, it was wonderful.
Media: Do you have any dream projects of people that you want to work with?
Eugene: Like I said, everything is a stepping stone and I’ve already worked with some amazing people, some amazing actors and again, I’m very thankful for every opportunity. I’ve already worked with a lot of my heroes, people who have inspired me like Graham Greene, Wes Studi, everybody that was on North of 60, Dances With Wolves, everything is really a dream come true.
Media: In Wonder Woman she speaks a lot of different languages, and there are usually subtitles, but they didn’t have them between you and her. Do you remember what you both said?
Eugene: I introduced myself in my own language, and it meant hi, my name is Napi, Napi being Blackfoot demi-god, Blackfoot storyteller, so it was nice to be able to share my language and culture with the rest of the world. I grew up hearing the stories of Napi as a little kid and every story had a lesson and the lesson was based on watching him do what you’re not supposed to do. You know, I’m glad it wasn’t subtitled to be honest because it’s an Easter Egg and for my people to hear our language it was amazing.
Media: One of the things I really liked about the Chief in Wonder Woman was he has a lot of subtle moments, like when the soldiers in the trenches are very happy to see him. What does the Chief’s journey in Wonder Woman mean to you?
Eugene: You know, I think it’s all about humanity, it builds that essence of humanity. It shows that everyone has that humanity within themselves so I think he’s just being a real human being.
Media: What was it like to work with Gal Gadot on a movie that turned out to be such a huge success?
Eugene: Gal is amazing, she really is. She is wonderful both in front of the camera and behind the camera, same with Patti, I’m very thankful to be able to work with her and to have the power to make my character what he was.
The GCE: Are you going to continue to go back and forth between acting and stunt work or are you going to eventually just pick one?
Eugene: You know what, I wouldn’t be where I’m at if I didn’t take every opportunity that I could, even behind the camera, I’m getting the opportunity to do that now as an executive producer on a new project I’m doing now called Reign of Judges, I’ll take whatever comes my way. You know I am getting a little old to do stunts but if that opportunity is there I’ll take it.
I want to thank Eugene for taking the time to talk with us