My worst moment: Nerves and pills led to a bad day early in the career of ‘Dark Winds’ star Zahn McClarnon
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My worst moment: Nerves and pills led to a bad day early in the career of ‘Dark Winds’ star Zahn McClarnon

Chicago Tribune interview:

On the AMC drama “Dark Winds,” Zahn McClarnon stars as Lt. Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police, who is investigating a double murder with the help of two younger deputies, while also trying to manage the intrusive interests of the FBI, which is more interested in busting a couple of armored car robbers who may or may not be hiding somewhere on the reservation.

The series, which has been renewed for a second season, is based on the crime novels of Tony Hillerman. “I grew up with the books,” said McClarnon. “Within our Native community they were well known, obviously. And I’d auditioned for previous adaptations in the early ‘90s. I was familiar with those characters and they’ve always been around me in my community. So when they came to me” — George R.R. Martin and Robert Redford are among the show’s producers — “I was very interested. How could I refuse with such a wonderful team of producers? It was an easy yes for me.”

McClarnon’s elevation to leading man is long overdue, having made a name for himself in supporting roles in series including “Fargo,” “Westworld” (where he made a return appearance just recently) and in a rare comedic role on “Reservation Dogs,” to name just a few.

When asked to share a memory of a worst moment from his career, he recalled a guest appearance on “NYPD Blue.” Continue reading My worst moment: Nerves and pills led to a bad day early in the career of ‘Dark Winds’ star Zahn McClarnon

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C&I Q&A: Zahn McClarnon and Kiowa Gordon
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C&I Q&A: Zahn McClarnon and Kiowa Gordon

cowboysindians.com interview:

Due to technical difficulties, we have not been able to post the video of our conversation with Dark Winds stars Zahn McClarnon and Kiowa Gordon, which was recorded shortly before they and we got the good word that their series would be back for a second season. But don’t fret: While we’ve been preparing to enjoy the Season One Finale, which will air at 9 pm ET Sunday on AMC, we procured a transcription of an audio recording. So we’re able to offer some highlights, edited for brevity and continuity.

And for the benefit of those who tuned in late, and haven’t yet caught up with the first five episodes of this excellent mystery-drama based on Tony Hillerman’s popular Leaphorn and Chee novels, here’s how AMC initially described the show:

“Set in 1971 on a remote outpost of the Navajo Nation near Monument Valley, Dark Winds follows Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn (McClarnon) of the Tribal Police as he is besieged by a series of seemingly unrelated crimes. The closer he digs to the truth, the more he exposes the wounds of his past. He is joined on this journey by his new deputy, Jim Chee (Gordon). Chee, too, has old scores to settle from his youth on the reservation. Together, the two men battle the forces of evil, each other, and their own personal demons on the path to salvation.”

Cowboys & Indians: Do you think we might soon being seeing you guys on recruiting posters for the Navajo Police?

Kiowa Gordon: [Laughs] Oh, man. I don’t know about that. That’d be funny — like a 70’s style poster.

C&I: Did you shoot all six Season One episodes in sequence?

Zahn McClarnon: Oh, no.

Kiowa: Yeah, it was all out of sequence.

Continue reading C&I Q&A: Zahn McClarnon and Kiowa Gordon

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Zahn McClarnon: ‘Dark Winds’ is chance for Native Americans to tell their own stories
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Zahn McClarnon: ‘Dark Winds’ is chance for Native Americans to tell their own stories

upi.com posted an article about Dark Winds:

NEW YORK, June 19 (UPI) — Longmire and Westworld icon Zahn McClarnon says he wanted to star in Dark Winds, AMC’s adaptation of Tony Hillerman’s beloved Leaphorn & Chee book series, because it would be the rare TV show with a mostly Native American cast and writing team.

“It is the chance to have some more visibility for our community, a chance for us to tell our own stories,” McClarnon told reporters in a recent virtual roundtable interview. “Those things are important to me.”

Airing Sundays, the show takes place in 1971 on a remote outpost of the Navajo Nation near Monument Valley in the southwestern region of the United States.

McClarnon plays Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Tribal Police who is investigating the mysterious deaths of an elderly, ailing Native American man seeking help from a blind healer and her granddaughter in a reservation motel. Assisting Leaphorn on the case are his decades-younger deputies Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon) and Bernadette Manuelito (Jessica Matten).

For years, McClarnon’s face has been a familiar one on television, but Dark Winds marks his first outing as a series lead and producer.

“It’s a different hat to wear,” McClarnon acknowledged. “I very much enjoyed the process. It certainly adds a little bit more on your shoulders, a little bit more responsibility. I enjoyed, mainly, the casting part, helping with the casting.”

Continue reading Zahn McClarnon: ‘Dark Winds’ is chance for Native Americans to tell their own stories

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‘Dark Winds’ star Zahn McClarnon: ‘It’s a unique time in Native representation’
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‘Dark Winds’ star Zahn McClarnon: ‘It’s a unique time in Native representation’

nypost.com interview:

When veteran actor Zahn McClarnon was approached by “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin and Robert Redford to star in the AMC series “Dark Winds” it was an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“They’re wonderful human beings. I spent the weekend with Robert, and it was a dream come true to sit and have conversations with him,” McClarnon, 55, told The Post of Redford, who executive-produces the series with Martin.

“He was a personal hero of mine growing up. In ‘Little Fauss and Big Halsy,’ that 1970 movie that Robert Redford was in, he was kind of a ladies’ man and he used to carry around a toothbrush in his mouth. And my parents couldn’t get that toothbrush out of my mouth when I was 5 years old. He was a huge inspiration to me growing up.” Continue reading ‘Dark Winds’ star Zahn McClarnon: ‘It’s a unique time in Native representation’

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