Actor Adam Beach credits Johnny Depp as his inspiration

Johnny Depp might be surprised to know that actor Adam Beach credits Johnny’s work in 21 JUMP STREET for inspiring him to pursue acting as a profession. But that’s exactly what Beach told the Television Critics Association recently, when he appeared to promote his new role as a detective on NBC’s LAW & ORDER:SVU. The Canadian actor, who grew up on the Dog Creek Indian Reserve in Manitoba before moving to Winnipeg, told the assembled reporters, “Johnny Depp was the one who made me want to act. [Depp] was doing 21 JUMP STREET and he was playing these different characters that were involved with different high schools. And as a kid, I just wanted to live a different life.”

Added Beach, “Coming from the second-worst neighborhood in Canada, my neighborhood was predominantly Native, and the statistics for people coming out of that neighbourhood was 80% going to jail. But we’re not just a statistic of failure. There are some of us who are doing good.”

Adam Beach received excellent reviews for his role in Clint Eastwood’s FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS. Now he has another high-profile role on LAW & ORDER: SVU playing a Native American character. He hopes he can help to change many of the negative perceptions about Native people. “LAW & ORDER basically did in one year what I’ve been trying to do for 17 years, which is to get away from the stereotype of the Hollywood Indian,” Beach said. “Here’s this character, he’s a detective, yes he’s Mohawk, and he has a depth in that his ancestors built New York City.” The Zone wishes Adam Beach well in his new role; you can read the full interview with Beach on the News & Views forum. –Part-Time Poet