Matthew Montoya

aka Matthew Buffalo Blowing Tree (Taos Pueblo)

Matthew believes the posting of an image he himself posed for and approved for the Native Life Calendar (and yes, I had permission from the creator of the calendar to post the picture) is an offence to his religious beliefs, according to one David Caputo. So it's been removed. I'll remove this page as soon as I have time to edit the website itself. Photo taken from the Native Life Calendar year 2000. Photography by Carlos Llano.

I've cropped the photo heavily to make the face bigger in the frame.

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Over 40. Received a FAITA award this year. Appeared in Moby Dick, Miracle In Wilderness, War Party, Surviving Columbus. Has been cast for "All The Pretty Horses" filming June 1999. Lives in Northern New Mexico. Photo at FAITA , IMDb

On the road to stardom  

Actor Matthew Montoya received a prestigious award from First Americans in the Arts at Los Angeles ceremony.

Article by Rick Romancito courtesy of The Taos News (Rick Romancito was also an actor, in "Rooster Cogburn and the Lady" with John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn).

Matthew Montoya had a whale of a good time in Los Angeles recently. When he found out he was named to receive a First Americans in the Arts Award on Feb. 13 for his work in the made-for-television movie, Moby Dick," Montoya said he was surprised. I didn't believe it."

But before long the Taos Pueblo native found himself being picked up in a limousine from Los Angeles International Airport and whisked to the Century Plaza Hotel. There he changed into a tuxedo and had a chance to schmooze with some of his fellow actors who were on hand to receive awards.

Montoya said he was able to meet Wes Studi, star of films including Geronimo: An American Legend," Last of the Mohicans" and Deep Rising"; Floyd Red Crow Westerman, who has appeared in films such as The Doors" and Dances With Wolves" and television shows such as Walker, Texas Ranger" and The X-Files"; and actor Tim Sampson, son of the late Will Sampson ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"), who was in the first film in which Montoya appeared.

As he sat in the audience listening to the names of other actors being called to the podium to receive their awards, Montoya said he reflected on the chance circumstances that brought him there. Raised amid the centuries-old traditions of his Pueblo Indian tribe by his parents, Joe A. and Lorraine R. Montoya, as a young man, Matthew Montoya grew up like most young men here, occupied by school and work. He said it was while he was hanging out with friends at the Taos Pueblo Powwow that he ran into Franc Roddam, a director who immediately recognized the cinematic potential in his tall frame and handsome features. That's how he wound up in Browning, Mont., with the cast of War Party," a 1989 feature that starred Kevin Dillon, Billy Wirth and Tim Sampson.

Other jobs followed, but the film business being as it is for native people, mostly it was sporadic. That is until Montoya's wife, Janie Bowlin Montoya, fielded a call from a casting director who wanted him to read for a part in the 1998 made-for-television remake of the sea epic, Moby Dick." That job put Montoya, playing the role of Tashtego, on a rolling deck with Patrick Stewart ("Star Trek: The Next Generation") as Captain Ahab in an adaptation of the famous Herman Melville classic.

So good was his work that fellow native actors in the industry nominated him for the First Americans in the Arts award. The organization is dedicated to recognizing the efforts of native people in film and television. The nomination process apparently is conducted without the nominee's knowledge, which is why Montoya said he was so surprised when he found out he was to receive the award for Outstanding Guest Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a TV Movie/Special.

In his brief acceptance speech, Montoya said he spoke a few words of thanks in his native Tiwa language and, in English, told how that night was a very special" one for him. He thanked his parents for all the support they've given him, along with his wife and daughter and all the people of Taos Pueblo. He also thanked Roddam and casting director Renee Haynes for all their help in getting him started.

After the ceremony, and the interviews and more schmoozing, Montoya returned to Taos. Almost right away, he met with a casting director for the new feature planned to be shot in New Mexico beginning in late April called All the Pretty Horses." This film, based on the Cormac McCarthy novel, is about two Texas teen-agers, played by Matt Damon and Henry Thomas, as they ride from San Angelo, Texas, to Coahuila, Mexico, in the late 1940s. Slated to be directed by Billy Bob Thornton, the film is expected to take 12 weeks of location shooting in the state. Last week, Montoya said he got the job. 


All the Pretty Horses

Matthew E. Montoya and Juddson Keith Linn Set just after WWII, two Texas cowboys look for love and adventure south of the border. December 25, 2000


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