For my third year joining in, I’ve decided to pick an actor again (last year, although it feels like yesterday, I looked at The Grand Seduction and the previous year, Donald Sutherland). An actor that I feel is underrated. May I introduce to you Eric Schweig. Born in 1967 (19 June to be precise), his real name is actually Ray Dean Thrasher. Oh, and in case it wasn’t obvious, he was born in Canada. Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
Now…you’ll probably know where I’m heading with this post…(for those of you new to my Blog, let me just say that The Last of the Mohicans is my absolute favourite movie of all time)…so, yep, I’m heading down the Uncas (Last of the Mohicans route). But what other route should I take? It is, after all, this movie which introduced me to this actor. I’d never heard of him before then (granted, according on IMDB it was only his 3rd movie) and must admit I haven’t seen too much with him in it (although he’s been in a fair amount). It takes quite something to share screen presence with Daniel Day-Lewis and boy, oh boy, does Eric Schweig manage to do this. While he doesn’t have the lead role, he is definitely noticed. Or maybe it’s just that I have a bit of a weakness for the Uncas/Alice love story. But really, I thoroughly enjoy the ease with which he takes on the character of Uncas (and no, here we won’t discuss how true to the book the movie is – this is a post about an actor, therefore a movie). So, for a long time, all I had was the 25 year old Eric Schweig – back then my parents and I had no TV in the house (by choice) and besides, Video Cassettes were limited. IMDB and the internet didn’t exist, so, unless an actor was making Magazine gossip, you weren’t really aware of who else was out there and what they were acting in. My Quinlan’s Films Stars book also dated too quickly.
Only a number of years later with my own place and a TV, I happened to catch the trail-end of Follow the River (1995). Unfortunately didn’t see too much of Eric Schweig‘s character, however, it did trigger me to go find some other roles I’d enjoyed him in. And I found…
…Skins (2002). Here he plays Rudy Yellow Lodge, a police office in an Indian Reservation. He is joined by Graham Greene (also a Canadian) who takes on the role of Mogie Yellow Lodge, Rudy‘s alcoholic brother. While not always easy to watch it was an eye opener and I did actually enjoy it. The cast also includes, amongst others, wonderful fellow Canadians Gary Farmer, Michelle Thrush and Nathaniel Arcand as well as Gil Birmingham (not Canadian) It also presented to me an Eric Schweig 10 years older to what I’d be introduced to. In this darker, more serious role, he is still great to watch. In contrast, his smaller role in The Missing about which I’m not going to say too much here other than, I really needed to watch The Last of the Mohicans again.
I’ve got Dead Man’s Walk waiting to be watched and trying to find Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (not only because of Eric Schweig but I want to see it regardless of who’s in it) and Into the West is also proving difficult to find (once again with Eric Schweig but on my to-watch list anyway). He’s been in so many movies and series and I’m embarrassed to say that for such a wonderful actor I really haven’t seen enough of him.
But, that’s not all. As a means of connecting to his heritage, Eric Schweig carves masks (look them up, they are gorgeous), a skill developed from his early childhood days of carving. In fact, I believe he never intended to get into acting but was involved with woodwork and framing work.
So, here’s to a Canadian who really is worth noticing.