5 Questions for Oscar Winner Wes Studi - SantaFe.com
Wes Studi Santa Fe New Mexico

by Sean Healen

As you might have heard, Santa Fe’s own Wes Studi was recently awarded a lifetime achievement Oscar. Wes is the first Native American actor to receive an Oscar. The Academy wanted to recognize his body of work for its authenticity and breadth.

During his acceptance speech, Studi told the audiend “I’d simply like to say, it’s about time. It’s been a wild and wonderful ride, and I’m really proud to be here tonight as the first indigenous Native American to receive an Academy Award. It’s a humbling honour to receive an award for something I love to do,” according to The National.

Studi has had memorable roles in Dances With Wolves, Last of the Mohicans, Geronimo: An American Legend and The New World among many others.

Wes and I are longtime friends, yet we never talk about career. I realized that there are many things I don’t know about Wes and what shaped him as an actor. I figured you might want to know also!

The following interview was conducted by texting back and forth between October 8th and October 10th.

What was your first professional acting job?

“My first pro acting job was a stage play titled Black Elk Speaks. The year was 1984. The company was American Indian Theatre Co. I had a number of roles, none of which were the lead…The play starred the late Will Sampson and David Carradine. The pay wasn’t much but it was actual Pay!”

How old were you when you knew you wanted to  be an actor?

“I must have been in my late thirties when I finally decided to literally refer to myself as an actor. Not an easy thing to do.”

What are your favorite (top three) roles that you have played?

“I’m hesitant to indicate my favorites so as not to underrate others, though I will say my role as Sam Franklin in The Only Good Indian was a deep dive in to subject matter I had long avoided in my real life. And Geronimo and Magua have been very good for my career.”

Do you want to direct a major picture or series?

“I’m probably like 75 percent of working actors when I say Yes, what I really want to do is Direct!!”

Pie: blueberry or peach?

“It’s an absolute tie between Peach and Blueberry! Though I must add Apricot to the list of preferences.”

Congratulations to Wes for his history making achievement!

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

Please Share!

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Celebrating their 49th year over the course of six weeks, The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival presents more than 40 unforgettable concerts, by some of the best musicians in the industry. Performances take place at the St. Francis Auditorium in the New Mexico Museum of Art, and the Lensic Performing Arts Center, July 17 – August 22, 2022. Among the highlights of this year’s event is the Chien-Kim-Watkins Trio, in their Festival debut, performing a cycle of the groundbreaking Beethoven … Read More

The Santa Fe Symphony Presents Its 39th Season

For close to four decades, the Santa Fe Symphony & Chorus has been a cultural treasure of the City Different. Made up of world-class orchestral and choral musicians and complemented by award-winning guest artists from around the world, the concerts presented are made up of the very best classical music from all eras, for all ages. The 39th season of the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus kicks off on Sunday, September 11, 2022, at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. … Read More

Santa Fe Summer Scene

The largest free music series in New Mexico, the Santa Fe Summer Scene takes the place of the long-standing Santa Fe Bandstand. In fact, what started out as a small showcase on the Santa Fe Plaza for local musicians and their fans, has grown to become one of the most hotly anticipated summer concert series in the state. The reason? From regional favorites to national touring acts, no matter what your musical taste, there’s something for everyone. But don’t take … Read More

Featured Businesses