The veteran actor is working overtime on the small screen, stepping into a long-deserved leading role for AMC’s western mystery series Dark Winds
Filed in Interviews

The veteran actor is working overtime on the small screen, stepping into a long-deserved leading role for AMC’s western mystery series Dark Winds

Great interview by cowboysandindians.com

Zahn McClarnon is ready for his close up.

After establishing himself as an exceptionally versatile actor and an attention-grabbing screen presence in supporting roles, and amassing a resume highlighted by such major TV credits as Longmire, The Son, Westworld, and Fargo, the 55-year-old actor is front and center as the star of Dark Winds, the acclaimed AMC drama based on the popular Leaphorn & Chee mystery novels by Tony Hillerman. McClarnon propels the neo-noirish limited-run series with a performance fueled by equal measures of focused intensity, dry wit, slow-burning anger, and repressed anguish as Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, a dedicated lawman at a remote Navajo Nation outpost in 1971. While trying to solve a local double murder — and, maybe, connect it to a big-city bank robbery — Leaphorn relies on the assistance of a trusted associate, Navajo police Sgt. Bernadette Manuelito (Jessica Matten), and a possibly untrustworthy new officer, Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon). He’s something of a workaholic, but we’re left to assume that solving crimes also is a way for Leaphorn to distract himself from the death of his son and the widening rift between himself and his wife, Emma (Deanna Allison).

Inspired by Hillerman’s Listening Woman, and co-produced by Robert Redford and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, Dark Winds is one of three TV projects keeping McClarnon gainfully employed these days. He’s also in his second season as Officer Big in the sitcome Reservation Dogs, and soon will be seen again as William Lopez — a role he first played in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series Hawkeye — in Echo, a spinoff that will be the first series in the MCU driven by a Native American hero (Alaqua Cox). So, no kidding, we consider ourselves fortunate that he could fit an interview with C&I into his busy schedule. Here are some highlights from our conversation, edited for clarity and brevity.
Continue reading The veteran actor is working overtime on the small screen, stepping into a long-deserved leading role for AMC’s western mystery series Dark Winds