Two key characters in the story of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their Corp of Discovery have been cast in the highly anticipated HBO miniseries. They are both important supporting characters that always seem to make it into the history books – Sacagawea and York.
Actress Tanaya Beatty (pictured) has been cast as the Shoshone interpreter and guide Sacagawea She aided the expedition in dealing with the various Indian tribes they encountered, though she often slowed the journey down by often getting ill and giving birth along the way. It is said Lewis did not much care for her.
The role of York is to be played by Stephen Hill. York was Clark’s slave and the only black member of the expedition. York did manual labor in extreme weather and received no compensation. The indigenous nations treated York with respect, and many of the Native Americans were interested in his appearance. The presence of both York and Sacagawea was said to be crucial to the diplomatic relations gained on the journey. .
Also joining Casey Affleck as Lewis and Matthias Schoenaerts as Clark are Brendan Fletcher, James Cutler, Rob Aramayo, Devin Harjes, Tim Plester, Tyson Ritter, and David Wilmot as members of the Corps of Discovery. Also quite a large casting call has been held for all different ethnic types and Indian tribes.
According to Indian Country HBO also released the name of the series’ tribal liaison and advisor. Yvonne Russo, Sicangu Lakota, who is a producer, director and writer, will act as lead advisor on set. Russo said in an email that her objective will be to “guide and support the production by helping execute the director’s vision while making sure our Tribal Nations are depicted accurately and with purpose.” That is not surprising considering the through production value HBO puts into its movies and miniseries. Production has been underway for a while now with filming to begin this summer.