With roles in Dances with Wolves, The Last of the Mohicans and HBO's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Wes Studi is a familiar face to fans of historical dramas. Tonight, the accomplished Cherokee character actor continues his hard-nosed portrayal of Comanche leader Buffalo Hump in Part 2 of Comanche Moon (9 pm/ET, CBS; it concludes tomorrow), the Lonesome Dove prequel that traces the early years of Dove protagonists Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae.
TV Guide: You've appeared in many films about the struggles of Native Americans. What draws you to them?
Wes Studi: I like the point of conflict, when people finally come to the point [where] they have nothing else they can do but fight. It happened in just about every one of the roles that I've played. There is quite the adrenaline rush with that.
TV Guide: Were you a fan of the original Lonesome Dove miniseries?
Studi: I was. As far as television Westerns are concerned, that is the standard. And once this one airs, I will have been in both the prequel and the sequel [Streets of Laredo]! I played [Kickapoo guide] Famous Shoes in Streets of Laredo.
TV Guide: Tonight, your character Buffalo Hump leads a spectacular raid against the town of Austin. What was his motivation?
Studi: I think that he was simply acting as you would expect someone to act when [people] are moving in on his land. Americans were moving into the area of Texas, what he considered his country.
TV Guide: Did you do much research for the role?
Studi: As much as needed, but... we as Indians know who [Buffalo Hump] was, more or less. He's part of our history. The thing about Buffalo Hump is that his name really doesn't have the meaning that it conveys whenever it's translated. It has much more to do with his sexual prowess. That's fact among Comanches. [Laughs]
Go behind the scenes of Comanche Moon with clips in our Online Video Guide.
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