Studi had to get everything across through his actions and very limited dialogue. Actually, I work with a group out of Santa Fe that [are] spokesmen for [the] Indigenous Language Institute. Its an organization devoted to the maintenance and revitalization of Indigenous languages throughout the world. Right now, were mainly in the Americas. What intrigued me, at the beginning, about this film is that theres a language used for us, the Indians in the film, that is totally revitalized by a fellow from the Smithsonian. Hes a linguist. He took a list of something like 27 words that these English guys wrote down back in the early 1600s. That, and interviews with surrounding tribes in the area who still had a smidgen of their languages left. He took all that as well as whatever else he could come up with in terms of re-creating this language that we used.
I have to tell you, Im a bit disappointed that so much of that particular reinvented language wasnt used in the film because theres a lot of dialogue missing from this theatrical release that will, perhaps, be in the DVD, which is an added 30 minutes or something like that. Thats what Terrence is working on at this moment. A lot of effort was put into the recreation of this language as well as Around the Indian country, its been touted as having a lot to do with that, with that language and the use of it. This was the first time Id seen this cut. I have to tell you I was a bit disappointed. Not only because a lot of my scenes are on the cutting room floor, but theres not a lot of use of that particular language.
Studi said he had a lot more dialogue and scenes than what ended up in the theatrical release. Actual scenes - oh geez, I dont know how many. I knew they wouldnt all be in there. There were a lot more scenes in there that I had with QOrianka [Kilcher, Pocahontas] as well as some of the other characters. People are either going to love it or not. Im sure thats true of any film thats made. But I think many people can simply say, Its not my cup of tea. Its a beautiful, beautifully shot film. Its absolutely gorgeous, but just not my cup of tea.
Wes Studi on the Natives Perspective in The New World: Studi believes the native perspective was minimalized in the final cut. Oh yeah. I think thats more or less what I said about the language. Rather than put it in terms of the native perspective We didnt expect that but there was, in the beginning, with the original script, there was more involvement where we got to know these characters a little bit more and we knew of the intrigues that were going on. The story itself has plenty of political intrigue that goes on, but what we saw was a love story of sorts. And Im an action kind of guy myself. Thats been most of my stuff. I thought, Oh, one battle. (laughing) And I have some really great scenes of swinging and kicking and clubbing. Studi said there is more violence and brutality in the scenes he was in that were shot but not used.
Wes Studi on Terrence Malicks Choice to Show Scenes of Grass: The New World features lots of shots of the wind and walking through grass, which is something the director obviously finds intriguing. Studi said, Yeah. He shoots some really great grass. Remember Days of Heaven and Richard Gere? They were in grass like that too.
Wes Studi on Shooting in Jamestown: In reality, my character almost succeeded in burning that down. That was the only settlement that withstood an attack that wiped out six other villages in the area. Right after Powhatan died, Opechancanough got everybody together and within three hours he wiped out six villages simultaneously. Jamestown had gotten word that Ope and the boys were gonna flatten them out and they were more prepared. Jamestown was the only one that wasnt wiped out. They were able to defend themselves.
Jamestown the real one I didnt even see. Virginia is having some kind of huge celebration next year. Theyre gearing around that. Along with colonial Williamsburg, which is mostly where we stayed while we were there. Its a beautiful country. Its amazing that there are so few mosquitoes. I think they go in there and spray it. Its really swampy land, you know, but beautiful.