Nakehk’o, DiCaprio and Iñárritu

In what may have been the biggest Hollywood break for a Northerner since Margot Kidder played Lois Lane in 1978’s Superman, NWT actor Melaw Nakehk’o successfully auditioned for the upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio film The Revenant last fall. The casting call, held in Yellowknife last September, caused a lot of local buzz.

Here’s an update on what we’ve learned about the project, currently being shot around Calgary, so far:

It’s a genuinely big deal, for one thing. Based on the life of 19th century American fur trader Hugh Glass (played by DiCaprio), the film also stars hot-ticket actor Tom Hardy, and is being directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, just nominated for an Oscar for his film, Birdman.

Set to open next Christmas, The Revenant centres on Glass’s epic 200-mile trek through present-day South Dakota after being mauled by a grizzly bear and left to die by his companions (played by Hardy, Domnhall Gleeson and Will Poulter).

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Emma Day, with the movie’s casting department, told the CBC in September that the character Nakehk’o is playing “is with a lot of the lead characters in the film. And like I said, she’s a warrior, so she’s in all the warrior scenes that happen in the movie, and her part is integral to the story. It’s a very important role.”

The film’s agents have been tight-lipped since the casting call, though a spokesperson for the film recently confirmed to that Nakeh’ko, from Liidlii Kue (Fort Simpson), did get the part and will be in production on the film’s Calgary locations shortly. She didn’t divulge much more about her role and said Nakeh’ko is contractually bound not to do interviews while filming is underway.


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