Tommy Lee Jones Defends Native Americans’ Portrayal In New Movie

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May 19, 2014 | 3:55am EST

Actor Tommy Lee Jones came to the defence of his new film The Homesman at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday, insisting he has “no concerns” with the portrayal of Native Americans in the movie.
The Men In Black star both directs and stars in the movie, set in mid-19th century America, and features Oscar winner Hilary Swank as a religious homesteader who hires Jones’ character to help transport three mentally-ill women to Iowa.
On their way East, they run into a group of Native Americans from the Pawnee tribe, who end up stealing one of their horses.
The film debuted at the annual event in France over the weekend, and Lee Jones rejected the suggestion that he portrayed a “stereotype” of Native Americans.
He said, “I don’t have any concerns about that whatsoever. The actors were all Native Americans of Pueblo descent… I was proud they were looked like Pawnees, and not ashamed of the fact they were considered by our characters potentially to be homicidal. We’re not bending the truth, or stereotyping anybody. That’s the last thing we want to do.”
The Homesman marks Jones’ second time directing a feature film – his first came with The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, which won him the Best Actor award and Best Screenplay honours for Guillermo Arriaga at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005.