Locals from Maskwacis will play in Leonardo DiCaprio western

Locals from Maskwacis land roles in Leonardo DiCaprio western

‘Wow, it was something else,’ says Adrian Johnson on his first-ever acting gig

By Gareth Hampshire, CBC News Posted: Dec 19, 2015 6:00 AM MT Last Updated: Dec 20, 2015 12:55 PM MT

The film features about 50 extras from Maskwacis.

The film features about 50 extras from Maskwacis. (CBC )

Growing up in a small First Nations community south of Edmonton, Adrian Johnson never dreamed he would one day get the chance to be in a blockbuster movie alongside Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio.

But Johnson, from Maskwacis, was lucky enough to get cast in the upcoming western epic, The Revenant, after producers put out the call for First Nation extras earlier this year.

“Wow, it was something else,” said Johnson, one of nearly 50 people from Maskwacis chosen for parts.

“It’s exhilarating,” he added. “It puts a smile on my face. I’m in there, it’s quite something.”

Johnson was one of about 300 people in Maskwacis to show up for auditions at a rec centre in January.

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Adrian and Leonardo0:36

After being chosen, he and others selected were involved this spring in filming some scenes of the movie in the mountains near Canmore.

For most, it was their first taste of acting, remarkable considering it’s a movie with a multimillion-dollar budget by Oscar-winning director Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

The film is an action-packed survival drama featuring DiCaprio as an explorer and trapper set in the 1800s.

Karlene Cutknife said things were just as intense behind the scenes.

“We had to be ready by 5:30 a.m. every day, and that’s when they started the makeup, hair, then wardrobe.”



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