Mike (played by Zahn McClarnon, right) and Phillip (Jason Momoa) hav an ominous conversation on a riverbank in a scene from the first episode of 'The Red Road.'

Shady Character: Zahn McClarnon Discusses his 'Red Road' Role

Vincent Schilling
3/13/14

On the current Sundance TV series The Red Road, which airs Thursdays at 9 PM Eastern, Zahn McClarnon plays the supporting role of Mike Parker. For McClarnon, Hunkpapa Lakota (Standing Rock Sioux), the part is another profile-raising credit that complements his work on another well-known TV series: A&E's Longmire, on which he plays Tribal police officer Mathias. He's also known for his work on such productions as Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), Into the West (2005), The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines (2006) and Resolution (2012).

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Taking a break from his filming schedule, McClarnon took a moment to talk to ICTMN about his Red Road character, who is the best friend of Phillip Kopus (played by Jason Momoa) and the portrayal of Native people in the series.

What's the scope of your part in The Red Road

'He has some problems and makes some bad decisions,' McClarnon says of his 'Red Road' character. Photo courtesy Zahn McClarnon.

My character (Mike Parker) is a recurring character -- it's not a huge part. I play in it for four episodes -- however he is an integral part within the spectrum of the series. Mike Parker is Phillip Kopus' best friend, who is betrayed by him. 

He is a little mixed-up, and is not the sharpest tool in the shed. He has some problems and makes some bad decisions, as a lot of us have done growing up. We all have made bad decisions. Mike is a good guy deep down inside but again, he's made some horrible choices.

Aren't those types of characters fun to play?

Oh yeah.

What was it like working with Jason Momoa and other native actors?

Jason is a wonderful guy and an awesome man -- he was a lot of fun to work with. I think he is a fabulous actor, and I think a lot of people will be surprised when they see this. His film presence is unbelievable; you cannot take your eyes off him. Kiowa Gordon and Gary Farmer are also in this series; I have worked with Gary in the past and he is a great man. Kiowa is also a wonderful actor and is probably one of the top native talents that we have. Kiowa was really good; I was totally surprised with his work. I never had met him before -- I just knew he was in the Twilight series. 

 

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Leather Sammie
Leather Sammie
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