Introducing the stars from CBC's Trickster
The new series features seasoned virtuosos and emerging stars.
The highly anticipated supernatural thriller series Trickster, adapted from Eden Robinson's bestselling novel Son of a Trickster, follows an Indigenous teen struggling to keep his dysfunctional family in check. The series is set to premiere on October 7th at 9 p.m. (9:30NT), on CBC Television and CBC Gem.
While you may recognize some of the show's stars from your other favourite shows, Trickster introduces emerging talent as well. Here's a look at the cast who portray the series' contemporary Indigenous characters with sheer conviction.
Oulette, from Medicine Hat, Alberta, is a newcomer to the film and television industry. The 18-year-old Red River Métis (Cumberland House Cree Nation) actor started working as an extra and appeared in the series Tribal. Playing Jared in Trickster is one of his first leading roles on television.
"Playing Jared changed my life forever," says Oulette, who had just finished high school and was going to apply to Home Depot when he got the good news that he was cast in the show.
Co-creator, showrunner and director of the series, Michelle Latimer, compared Oulette's work ethic and acting agility during filming to that of a true athlete, which she says she appreciated very much.
"He comes ready to play game."
Co-star Kalani Queypo agrees, and says that witnessing Oulette's acting was electric and magical.
Oulette is set to appear in another supernatural mystery (Monkey Beach, based on Robinson's first novel) alongside Adam Beach, later this year.
Queypo is an American actor, producer, director, dancer and writer of Indigenous (Blackfeet), Hawaiian and Swedish descent. He plays Wade in CBC's Trickster.
Casting for the role of Wade was extremely difficult because of the character's enigmatic nature, according to Latimer. The net was cast far and wide but once Queypo auditioned, she says, it was a "no brainer" that he was the perfect fit.
Best known for his roles of Chacrow on the hit NBC series Jamestown and Klah Jackson on Fear the Walking Dead, Queypo brings a long track record of creative experience in the film industry — first appearing as an extra (Deer Dancer) in the 1996 movie The Juror, alongside Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin.
After a few additional hit movies, including Terrence Malick's Oscar nominated The New World (with Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer and Christian Bale) and The Royal Tenenbaums (with Gene Hackman, Anjelica Houston, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bill Murray), Queypo found his way into hit television series — appearing in Steven Spielberg's Emmy-winning Into the West, Nurse Jackie, Bones, Mad Men, Hawaii Five-0 and Saints & Strangers, where he played his critically acclaimed role of Squanto.
Queypo also wrote, produced and directed an award-winning short film, Ancestor Eyes.
Lightning is a Canadian-American (First Nations/Enoch Cree) actress, musician, hip-hop MC and a DJ. Following in her mother's footsteps, who is also an actress, she started acting at an early age of nine when she appeared in the movie 3 Ninjas.
Lightning plays Maggie in Trickster, a protective but foul-mouthed mother who self-medicates a supposedly undiagnosed mental illness with substances and partying.
Her resume also boasts appearances in shows and movies such as Touched by an Angel, American Pie: Band Camp, Days of Our Lives, Southland, and according to Nielsen report, one of the most DVRed series of 2018, Yellowstone, which ultimately lead to her appearance in People's Choice Award-winning show Outlander.
The actress is also a part of a musical duo, LightningCloud, with her husband MC RedCloud. They've shared the stage with Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, The Game, Cypress Hill and many other famous names in the music industry and won 2012 Indigenous Music Awards for Best Hip Hop Album, 2014 Indigenous Music Award for Best New Artist as well as the 2015 Indigenous Music Award for Best Rap Album.
After forming 1491 Publishing as an outlet to release original Indigenous content to the world, Lightning also released adult style colouring books — Indigenous Legends: Extraordinary Natives, Indigenous Legends: Extraordinary Women and Moosebumpz: Scary Stories from the Rez.
Lambe is an Inuk actress and activist from Iqaluit, Nunavut who plays Sarah in Trickster, a socially conscious orphan next door with a rebellious spirit and unconventional fashion style.
"This is our future," says co-star Queypo about Lambe as he talks about watching the young Indigenous star perform in Trickster, praises her acting and ability to blend between reality and fantasy.
About her time shooting Trickster, Lambe says that it was "a surreal experience" which solidified her love for acting.
Lambe is also a student at the University of Ottawa where she studies International Development and Globalization and has already earned a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her breakout role in the film The Grizzlies.
Lightning is a First Nations (Mushwatchees Cree) producer, director, actress and acting coach from Edmonton, Alberta who is a registered member of the Samson Band. She plays the role of Maggie's mother Sophia in the series, acting alongside her real life daughter, Crystle Lightning.
Latimer worked with Lightning on the show Blackstone years ago and says she never forgot her, adding: "She was just an incredible actress."
In fact, the series' character Maggie was written with Lightning in mind. And when her daughter Crystal auditioned for it, Latimer says she was ecstatic and saw a perfect opportunity to cast both — Crystle for the role of Maggie and Georgina as her on-screen mother which made the series that much more magical.
Lightning's experience in the film industry dates back to 1995 as the voice of Snow White in the animated series Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child. She moved on to work on numerous projects including the 90s hit series Walker, Texas Ranger with Chuck Norris, The West Wing, Dreamkeepers, Westworld and Blackstone.
The actress also sat in the director's chair and by 2010 her 2008 directorial debut, Older Than America, starring Adam Beach and Bradley Cooper — which was inspired by family members' experiences within the Canadian residential school system — received 24 awards, including for Best Dramatic Feature, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor.
As a long time advocate of Indigenous peoples' advancement in the film industry, Lightning co-founded Tribal Alliance Productions, a production company committed to producing media from an Indigenous perspective and formed a Native Media Network, a group dedicated to promoting Indigenous talent.
Alexis is a relatively new Nakota Sioux actor from Edmonton, Alberta who plays Jared's nerdy best friend, Crashpad, in Trickster.
"He has this great gift of being able to improvise and make things funnier and lift them off the page more than you could have ever imagined," says Latimer about Nathan's formidable acting chops.
His start was in the critically acclaimed feature film Rhymes for Young Ghouls after which he appeared in the movie Indian Horse and the Amazon series Tin Star opposite Tim Roth.
Alexis has also done work behind the camera as an assistant editor for the documentary film Journey Towards Reconciliation and art director for the short film Cause and Effect.
Craig Lauzon and accompanying supporting superstars
Lauzon is a Canadian actor, writer and comedian of First Nations/Ojibwa descent. He plays Jared's deadbeat father, Phil, in Trickster. Lauzon is known to CBC audiences, appearing as a cast member of the Royal Canadian Air Farce, as well as a guest star in The Ron James Show and Murdoch Mysteries.
His other credits include television and film appearances in Ham & Cheese, Damaged Goods, Bull, Fool Canada but in addition to his work on screen, Lauzon is also an accomplished stage actor with credits that include: Trigorin in Stupid Fucking Bird, The Bird Collective's critically-acclaimed adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull, Where the Blood Mixes (Theatre Aquarius), Thunderstick (Native Earth Performing Arts), King Lear (National Arts Centre) and Trudeau and Levesque (VideoCabaret).
Trickster also boasts heavyweights in supporting roles that include Gail Maurice (Diggstown, The Twilight Zone) who is a Métis actress and independent filmmaker from Saskatchewan and plays the ominous Georgina, Joel Thomas Hynes (Little Dog, The Book of Negroes, Republic of Doyle), a screenwriter, novelist, actor, director, musician who plays Maggie's drug-dealing boyfriend, Richie and Jamie Spilchuk (Suits, Being Erica, Murdoch Mysteries) in the role of Mr. Good, a school guidance counselor.
Trickster premieres October 7th at 9 p.m. (9:30NT), on CBC Television and CBC Gem.