In This Cover, The Hollywood Reporter Goes Inside the 30-year Journey to AMC’s Groundbreaking Native American Drama
Dark Winds, which premieres June 12 on AMC and AMC+, is executive produced by Robert Redford, who acquired the rights to Hillerman’s books in 1986, and George R.R. Martin, who was the mystery writer’s friend from 1980 until Hillerman’s death in 2008. The $5 million-an-episode show is filmed in three different sovereign nations, written by a writers room of five Indigenous writers, primarily directed by filmmaker Chris Eyre — of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, he is best known for his 1998 film Smoke Signals — produced by Graham Roland (Chickasaw), shot by a crew that is 85 percent Native American and starring actors McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon (Hualapai) as Detective Jim Chee and Jessica Matten (Red River Metis-Cree) as Sergeant Bernadette Manuelito, a character the Dark Winds writers expanded from the books.
"I had some experiences on sets where I was shut down. Trying to bring my experience, knowledge of my culture to some of the characters. I remember that kind of, ‘Sit down and do your job and let the writers and the producers take care of that. Don’t worry about it. You’re just the actor.’"
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