When I was sixteen I started acting, and I also started to embrace my tradition and culture. I had a young medicine man interpret for me what it is to be an Indian. He really caught me at a good time because I was really vulnerable after the loss of my parents with all of the feelings of abandonment.
Some people look for a certain structure in their lives that they're comfortable with. People who work hard on the road as truckers, people who work hard using their hands. Then there are people who are fortunate enough to have my life, people who play these characters who embody these qualities.
Acting has made me embrace my childhood. It's become some weird form of therapy. It's like I have a place where I can release all of these emotions. When I was playing Ira Hayes, I didn't have to think about the death of my parents directly. It's just there. I can blend it into Ira's character. I can use Ira's emotions as an outlet.