ROGER WILLIE (Charlie Whitehorse) makes his
screen debut in Windtalkers. Having never acted before, Willie was
discovered by the film's casting director Mindy Marin at an open casting call
for Navajo in Durango, Colorado, on December 7th, 1999. With no intention of
auditioning, he was coaxed into reading for a part by his two nephews, whom he
had brought to the casting call.
Willie was brought to Los Angeles to study with an acting coach for a week,
had his long hair cut to Marine length, and reauditioned for John Woo and the
producers. He heard the news that he was cast in Windtalkers while
participating in the Red Earth Art Show in Oklahoma City in June 2000.
Self-employed as an artist, Willie pursued his Arizona/New Mexico teaching
certificate with Navajo Culture endorsement and was recently accepted into the
graduate program at the University of Arizona in American Indian Studies, but
has deferred entrance until next year in order to work on Windtalkers.
Additional academic accomplishments include a Bachelor of Arts in Art from Ft.
Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, as well as a secondary B.A. in American
Indian Studies from UNC-Pembroke, North Carolina. His varied professional
experience includes serving as a consultant for the American Indian Programs in
Washington, DC, a public school art instructor, and a four-year stint in the
U.S. Army in the Airborne Infantry in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Willie is currently a full-time student at the University of Arizona and is
teaching the Navajo language for the University.
Willie was born and raised in Continental Divide, New Mexico, and is a member
of the Wateredge clan. He speaks both fluent Navajo and English and was educated
in the traditional ways of Navajo culture. Willie is married to Teresa, and they
have two children, Seattle and Jodi.
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