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Browning native Lily Gladstone stars in Apple TV’s ‘Fancy Dance’

Lily Gladstone
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jun 24, 2024

GREAT FALLS — Lily Gladstone is back on the big screen in what she describes as her most important role yet.

“This film really stands on its own to me,” said the Browning native. “In one way, it's one of the only times I've experienced what I think every actor hopes to experience in their career. A character completely took over. I was nervous that I wasn't going to be able to rise to the occasion or fill Jax the way that I was reading her on the page.”

Gladstone earned widespread acclaim for her performance in the movie ‘Killers of the Flower Moon.’ For her performance, Gladstone made history by becoming the first Native American to win a Best Actress in a Drama Role at the 2024 Golden Globe Awards.

The performance also earned her an Oscar nomination - the first Native American to be nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award. Click here for more coverage of Gladstone's recent success.

In Fancy Dance, Lily plays Jax Goodiron, a member of the Seneca-Cayuga tribe in Oklahoma. She’s on a quest to find her missing sister, Tawi, the mother of co-star Isabel DeRoy-Olsen, who plays Roki, being cared for by Jax.

It's the first feature film for Deroy-Olson, who plays a coming-of-age teen who wants to join her mother at a prestigious pow-wow.

She says getting to work with Lily Gladstone made her excited to go to work every day.

“She's so genuine and generous with her time, and she's one of the kindest people I've ever met,” said Deroy-Olson. “So, any nerves that I had about filming immediately went away because we just got along so well, and we have that connection and that friendship there already.”

Deroy-Olson worked with Gladstone on the recent Hulu series, ‘Under the Bridge.’

Fearing Tawi will become just another statistic, Jax convinces Roki to join her in their own search for Tawi. After Roki has been granted custody by her grandfather Frank, Jax and Roki set out to find Tawi in hopes of attending a traditional pow-wow .

Gladstone hopes the film shows audiences just how serious the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Person’s crisis has become.

“When you are rooting for a character like Jax Goodiron to find her sister Tawi Goodiron, you care in such a deep, tremendous emotional way that hopefully it will set in that for every Tawi Goodiron on film there is a Kaysera Stops Pretty Places, there is an Ashley Loring Heavy Runner.”

The film is directed and written by Erica Tremblay.

Gladstone says the character of Jax is named after one of the founding members of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center in Lame Deer, Montana.

“It's a very real thing that you would be hard pressed to find any indigenous life is not touched by this epidemic or an indigenous life that's not touched by this continued legacy of removing Indian kids from Indian families,” said Gladstone.

'Fancy Dance' is playing in select theaters and arrives on Apple TV on Friday, June 28th.