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Local actor proud of ‘The Son’ TV role

SANTA FE, N.M. — For nearly four months, Tatanka Means endured the heat and humidity in Austin, Texas, last summer.

The New Mexico resident snagged a role on the AMC drama, “The Son,” which premiered on April 8 to the tune of nearly 3 million viewers – making it another hit for the network.

The third episode airs at 7 p.m. today on AMC. It is also the episode where Means’ character is introduced and will run through the duration of the remaining eight episodes.

“It was continuous shooting,” he said. “But I wanted to be part of this project because it tells a story from the Native American’s perspective. When we got on set, the producers were very receptive to our suggestions for the Native American storyline.”

“The Son” is based on Philipp Meyer’s best-selling novel.

The 10-episode, one-hour drama is a sweeping family saga spanning 150 years and three generations of the McCullough family.

The series traces the transformation of Eli McCullough, played by Pierce Brosnan, the charismatic family patriarch, from good-natured innocent to calculating killer. He loses everything on the wild frontier, setting him on the path to building a ranching and oil dynasty of unsurpassed wealth and privilege.

Eli’s eldest son Pete, played by Henry Garrett, has grown up in his father’s shadow and struggles to make him proud while forging his own identity.

Pete’s strong-willed daughter, Jeannie, played by Sydney Lucas, idolizes her grandfather and despite being raised in a male-dominated world, rejects her fate of existing solely to marry and bear children.

Eli’s ruthlessness pits him against his wealthy Spanish neighbor, Pedro Garcia, played by Carlos Bardem, and his quest for power triggers consequences that span generations.

Shared through a series of flashbacks, the series enters the world of young Eli McCullough, played by Jacob Lofland and his father figure, Comanche war chief, Toshaway, played by Zahn McClarnon, and deftly explores the McCullough’s rise to become one the most powerful family dynasties in Texas.

Means’ character in the series is Charges the Enemy.

“Charges the Enemy is the antagonist to Pierce’s character,” Means said. “I’m the young hotshot warrior of the tribe. And when Eli comes into the picture, there is concern. My character wonders why my tribe is bringing an Anglo into the tribe. There’s conflict between him and young Eli and a woman. Of course, that turns up the heat a little.”

Means was familiar with the book and his interest was piqued by it being about the Comanche tribe.

“I wanted to come into this project and bring some historical accuracy and some pride to the character,” he said. “We had to speak Comanche. I’m glad it wasn’t my first time having to recite dialogue in Comanche.”

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