The portrayal of Native Americans in film and television during former eras generated considerable controversy. Many critics complained past Hollywood productions often tended to rely heavily upon stereotypes. Recently, actors and actresses of Native American ancestry have begun to achieve wider popular recognition and, to some extent perhaps, fewer typecast roles.
Actor Pierce Brosnan, born in Ireland, captured headlines last month when he vehemently denied rumors he would play Cable in Deadpool 2. Perhaps a less splashy yet equally interesting story concerns the television production in which the actor currently stars. Well known for his portrayal of 007 in films, Pierce Brosnan now appears as the lead in the new AMC series The Son. The drama revolves around Eli McCullough, the tough (and frequently cruel) Texas patriarch of a ranch in South Texas in 1910.
Flashbacks carry forward a second major story line in which the Comanche capture young Eli in 1849. He lives among the tribe as the adopted son of Toshaway, played by Zahn McClarnon.
Of mixed Lakota Sioux and Irish heritage, veteran actor Zahn McClarnon spent time studying the Comanche language in order to depict a Comanche war chief more accurately. The Son features a talented cast. The drama avoids comfortable stereotypes by addressing some harsh aspects of life in a Comanche village during the mid 1800s directly, including slavery and the torture of war captives. By describing three-dimensional Native American characters, it represents a different variety of Western.