Wonder Woman was an important movie for so many reasons. Not only has it changed the way people are perceiving the DCEU, but it also has the power to shift negative views on how successful female superhero movies can perform at the box office. Throughout the movie, the theme of Wonder Woman was bringing people together with love and a will to end hatred. Beyond the movie itself, there is another story of success that surpasses what happened in the fictional world - the story Eugene Brave Rock.
Eugene Brave Rock played one of Wonder Woman's teammates named Chief. The actor was raised in the Blood Tribe in Southern Alberta and has been chasing his dream of making it big in Hollywood since he was 17 years old. Now 39, he plays a significant role in the DCEU's mega-hit, and told cbc about his experience now that the movie has been released to thunderous applause.
"I'm soaking it in. It's wonderful. I'm so grateful to represent my people, my culture and my language to the rest of the world."
"I Was Given So Much Control"
It wasn't until after he'd claimed the role that Eugene Brave Rock discovered his successful auditions had been for the superhero franchise. During the interview, Eugene showed his gratitude for Wonder Woman's director, Patty Jenkins, for giving him a great deal of control over how his character would be presented.
"I'm so thankful to Patty Jenkins for giving me the opportunity ... It's unprecedented, especially in a role that has to do with Indians; it's someone else's interpretation of Native Americans. [In this business] people are told what to do and how to do it. But I was given so much control"
The input Eugene added to his character created a feeling of authenticity and made his Chief even more important to the film.
"I would've never been involved in this if I didn't keep my cultural values close to me — like even having long hair, riding my horse, singing, dancing, speaking my language, traveling around the world. I keep my cultural values close."
It's a known fact that there are not a lot of roles available for Native Americans, and even if they are featured in a film, their character's actions are often dictated by filmmakers without greater knowledge of Native American culture. The fact that Eugene Brave Rock was given the chance to represent his tribe on a global stage is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved.
As well as honoring his heritage with the role as Chief, Eugene has broadened his own understanding of other cultures thanks to working on Wonder Woman.
"I'm on the outside looking in, and it's great … but traveling around the world has given me appreciation for my culture and our values, and it's given me a better understanding of myself, who I am and who we are as a people."
Representation Matters: Applauding Wonder Woman's Detailed Approach:
The representation of Native Americans in Wonder Woman has also been applauded by the likes of Indian Country Today, who elaborated on the film's intricate details regarding Eugene Brave Rock's role.
“What I didn’t expect was to be overcome with emotion when Eugene Brave Rock’s character ‘Chief’ met Wonder Woman, who was spectacularly portrayed by Gal Gadot. Why? His first words to her were in Blackfoot. Even better, he introduced himself as Napi, the Blackfoot demi-god who is known as a trickster and a storyteller.”
So, it seems that Patty Jenkins' DCEU effort has even more to offer than fans and critics first thought. With some critics hailing Wonder Woman as one of the greatest DC movies of all time, it's incredible to see that the movie also lives up to modern standards of important representation in Hollywood.
What did you think Eugene Brave Rock's role? Let me know in the comments below.