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FX Networks: Reservation Dogs | Official Trailer – Season 1 | FX on Hulu
‘Reservation Dogs’ featuring Native youth in lead roles debuts online
Monday, August 9, 2021

The first two episodes of Reservation Dogs are now streaming on FX on Hulu. Have you watched? Are you going to watch?

From co-creators and executive producers Sterlin Harjo (Seminole / Muscogee) and Taika Waititi (Maori), Reservation Dogs is a half-hour comedy that follows four Native teenagers in Oklahoma whose dream is to get to California. The series was filmed within the boundaries of the Muscogee Nation and features a cast of all Native talent in the lead roles.

D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai / “Bear Smallhill”
D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai / Bear Smallhill
RESERVATION DOGS: D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai as Bear Smallhill. Photo Courtesy of FX on Hulu
D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai is a 19-year-old actor who hails from one of the Oji-Cree First Nations in Canada. He is currently based in Toronto, Ontario.

Woon-A-Tai was last seen in the feature film Beans, an official selection of the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Beans tells the story of a young girl coming of age during the Oka crisis in Canada – a land dispute between the Mohawk people and the town of Oka, Quebec, which lasted 78 days in 1990. Woon-A-Tai was able to show a darker side in the film, as the object of the lead character’s affection, who ended up being much more than she bargained for.

Woon-A-Tai is currently studying his Native language, Ojibwe, participates as a First Nations drummer and has a black belt in Shotokan Karate.

In Reservation Dogs, Bear is considered the unofficial leader of the group, though with nervous energy about him. He sometimes fumbles through situations, always towards good, but even with success he sometimes gets there in unorthodox ways.

Devery Jacobs / “Elora Danan”
Devery Jacobs / Elora Danan
RESERVATION DOGS: Elora Danan, as portrayed by Devery Jacobs. Photo Courtesy of FX on Hulu
Devery Jacobs was born and raised in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory. Jacobs found her passion for the arts from a young age. Whether it was reenacting her favorite Disney movies or starring in summer plays at the Turtle Island Theatre Company on her reserve, she had her sights on the world of showbiz.

While pursuing her acting career, Jacobs also studied to be a counselor and worked at the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal. It is this life experience, she credits, where she learned the depths of what human experiences can look like, making it the best training she could have received.

Jacobs would go on to attend the Canadian Film Centre’s (CFC) Acting Conservatory, an intensive six-month program that explores the different techniques of acting. Her first big break came when she was cast as the lead role in the award-winning feature film Rhymes for Young Ghouls, earning her a nomination for Best Performance by An Actress in a Leading Role at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards.

Jacobs has amassed a significant body of work in several film and television productions including The Lie (Blumhouse Productions), Blood Quantum (Elevation Pictures), The Road Behind, Cold (go90) and This Life (CBC). She also won Best Performance in a Canadian Film at the 2016 Whistler Film Fest and Best Actress at the 2017 American Indian Film Fest for her work in the feature film, The Sun at Midnight. Most recently, Jacobs starred in season two of the hit Netflix series The Order, and the third season of American Gods (Amazon/Starz) based on author Neil Gaiman’s novel. She also stars in the feature film Bootlegger, which follows the story of Jacobs’ character “Mani,” an ambitious lawyer in her 20s who heads back to her remote Indigenous community to help her people free themselves from outdated paternalistic laws. The film won Best Screenplay at Cannes’ Cinéfondation in 2017.

In 2017, The Hollywood Reporter named Jacobs one of Canada’s Rising Stars. In the same year, she was honored by Telefilm Canada at the 2017 Birks Diamond Tribute, celebrating women in film. Jacobs was given the title of TIFF Rising Star at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

Jacobs has also explored the other side of the camera, with her directorial debut of the short film Stolen, which won Best Aboriginal Film at the 2017 Yorkton Film Festival. Her second short film Rae garnered the Best Youth Work prize at the ImagineNATIVE Film Festival. It was also an official selection of the 2018 Palm Springs Shortfest and was named one of the Best Female-Directed Films by Refinery29. The feature film This Place, co-written by Jacobs, was named a recipient of the Talent to Watch fund from Telefilm Canada. Currently, Jacobs is producing the film adaptation of the bestselling novel So Far From God.

Outside of acting and filmmaking, Jacobs is an avid reader, journals daily and is currently fulfilling her goal of continuing to learn her native language and taking Kanien’kéha (Mohawk) classes. A self-proclaimed foodie, Jacobs loves to try new and different restaurants, binge-watch cooking shows and search for interesting recipes on Pinterest.

Jacobs’ other passion lies in Indigenous rights activism. She was the original founder of the Kahnawà:ke Youth Forum where she led and organized protests and rallies. She was also an active participant in the Idle No More Movement. Most recently, Jacobs has been focusing her activism through her art, hoping to create change within communities and to alter the perspective of how Indigenous people are seen.

As Elora Danan, Jacobs portrays a character who serves as the moral center of the group in in Reservation Dogs. She isn’t afraid to make the hard decisions, but always ensures that the gang is cared for.

Paulina Alexis / “Willie Jack”
Paulina Jewel Alexis / Willie Jack
RESERVATION DOGS: Paulina Alexis as Willie Jack. Photo Courtesy of FX on Hulu
Paulina Jewel Alexis is citizen of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation in central Alberta, Canada, where she was raised. The youngest of four children, Alexis is descended from a long line of cultural singers and artists, hunters, storytellers, filmmakers and scholars, and seemed destined to pursue a life in the arts. Her grandfather was the late Logan Alexis, a world-renowned round dance singer and song maker in Treaty Six Territory. And all three of her brothers are filmmakers and actors today.

Much of Alexis’ childhood involved making home movies with her siblings, where she was often cast in their amateur combat films in roles that had her jumping from rooftops, climbing power poles, barns and trees and wrestling. Alexis thrived on the action and still enjoys playing hockey, baseball, kickboxing and riding horses. She is also the lead singer in her family’s rock band. She aspires to one day star in an action film as a First Nation/Indigenous female super hero.

Alexis is known by family and friends to have a strong warrior but kind spirit, always willing to face any challenge the Creator puts in front of her with the courage and love of her people. Her large family keeps her grounded and reminds her to always give thanks to the Creator and to her ancestors for the life she’s been given, to always be proud of who she is and where she came from and to always respect mother earth and all life around her.

Alexis’ Indian name is “Wagiya Cizhan,” which means “young female eagle,” and she will live her time exploring life and being resilient and true to herself.

In Reservation Dogs, Willie Jack is known as being wise beyond her years. She marches to the beat of her own drum and is not bothered by what people think, always staying true to who she is. She’s the beating heart of the group and watches out for everyone.

Lane Factor / “Cheese”
Lane Factor / Cheese
RESERVATION DOGS: Cheese, as portrayed by Lane Factor. Photo Courtesy of FX on Hulu
Steph Henry Lane Factor was born in Midwest City, Oklahoma. He recently earned his SAG/AFTRA eligibility by landing the role of “Cheese” in Reservation Dogs

Factor completed The Young Performer Academy at the Freihofer Actor Factory in Norman, Oklahoma, appeared in a couple of commercials and previously had a role as an extra.

He has taken film and production classes and enjoys making stop animation and short movies. He also filmed televised livestreams for the local community high school football games. Factor is Muscogee, Seminole and Caddo.

In Reservation Dogs, Cheese is the youngest of the group. Like a little brother, the rest all look out for him. He’s not the leader, but has learned how not to be a follower. He is learning from the others, but left alone he would be able to forge his own path. From methheads, fake grandmas to lighthorsemen, he has a way of seeing the good in people and in the world.

Zahn McClarnon / “Big”
Zahn McClarnon / Big
RESERVATION DOGS: Zahn McClarnon, far right, portrays tribal police officer Big. Photo Courtesy of FX on Hulu
Big is an oblivious tribal police officer, known locally as a lighthorseman. He who has a keen interest in conspiracy theories, supernatural occurrences and Bear’s mom, Rita.

Big may seem tough, but ultimately has a sensitive side, especially when it comes to his community. He is portrayed by Zahn Tokiya-ku McClarnon, who is Lakota.

Sarah Podemski / “Rita“
Sarah Podemski / Rita
RESERVATION DOGS: Sarah Podemski as Rita, Bear’s mother. Still image courtesy of FX on Hulu
Rita is a strong, independent woman. She has raised Bear on her own with little to no help from Bear’s absent father. Rita worked hard to give Bear a good home and a life to be proud of. She has a tough love approach and she does not pull punches; she lets Bear know that life is hard and what you make of it is up to you.

Rita is portrayed by Sarah Podemski, who is Saulteaux and Ojibwe. Podemski was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario.

Lil Mike / “Mose” and FunnyBone / “Mekko”
Lil Mike /  Mose  and FunnyBone /  Mekko
RESERVATION DOGS: Lil Mike as “Mose” and FunnyBone as “Mekko.” Still image courtesy FX on Hulu
Twins Mose (Lil Mike) and Mekko (FunnyBone) finish each other’s sentences. They are always riding through the neighborhood at just the right time — rapping, scheming and always in the middle of other people’s business. They know everything that’s going on in the town, serving as the eyes and ears of the neighborhood.

Lil Mike and FunnyBone, who hail from Oklahoma, are also known as the hip-hop duo Mike Bone. The brothers are citizens of the Pawnee Nation who rose to fame following their appearance on America’s Got Talent.

Additional Photos
Reservation Dogs
RESERVATION DOGS: One year after the death of their friend, four Native teens commit crimes to fund their efforts to leave their home in rural Oklahoma. The pilot episode was written by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi. It was directed by Harjo. Shown here, from left: Willie (Paulina Alexis), Elora (Devery Jacobs), Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai) and Cheese (Lane Factor). Photo Courtesy of FX on Hulu

Reservation Dogs
RESERVATION DOGS, from left: Lane Factor as Cheese, Paulina Alexis as Willie Jack, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai as Bear Smallhill and Devery Jacobs as Elora Danan in “Reservation Dogs.” Photo courtesy of FX on Hulu

Reservation Dogs
RESERVATION DOGS: In episode two, a new crew threatens the Reservation Dogs while they try and make some money selling meat pies at the Indian Health Service. NDN Clinic was written by Sterlin Harjo and directed by Sydney Freeland. Shown here, from left, are Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai), Elora (Devery Jacobs) and Willie (Paulina Alexis). Photo Courtesy of FX on Hulu

Reservation Dogs
RESERVATION DOGS: In episode two, NDN Clinic, A new crew threatens the Reservation Dogs while they try and make some money selling meat pies outside the local IHS Clinic. Elora (Devery Jacobs) is seen here. Photo Courtesy of FX on Hulu

Reservation Dogs
RESERVATION DOGS: In episode two, NDN Clinic, a new crew threatens the Reservation Dogs while they try and make some money selling meat pies outside an Indian Health Service clinic. Shown here is Cheese (Lane Factor). Photo Courtesy of FX on Hulu

Reservation Dogs
RESERVATION DOGS: In NDN Clinic, a new crew threatens the Reservation Dogs while they try and make some money selling meat pies outside the local Indian Health Service facility. Shown here, from left, are Elora (Devery Jacobs) and Willie (Paulina Alexis), shown. Photo Courtesy of FX on Hulu

Reservation Dogs
RESERVATION DOGS. Image Courtesy of FX on Hulu

Additional Clips