Film crews from HBO are scouring Montana for actors to play in a new historical mini-series called Lewis & Clark, based on the book Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose.

Montana Film Commissioner Deny Staggs says the production is being put on by some major industry players.

"[Lewis & Clark] has been in the works for probably seven years," Staggs said. "Brad Pitt's company Plan B is one of the producing entities along with Playtone, which is Tom Hank's company."

This won't be Playtone's first foray into historical drama, in 2001, another Stephen E. Ambrose book, Band of Brothers, was turned into a successful mini-series by Playtone.

The casting call asks for applications from “Native Females (Youthful Looking Youthful looking 17 – early 20's)” for the role of Sacagawea. The casting call also asks for speakers of a variety of native languages including "Shoshone, Nez Perce, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Blackfeet, Chinook, Clatsop, Walla Walla, Sioux and Shawnee."

Also requested are applications from "lean, physically fit, 18+" native men with horse riding skills. Staggs hints that Montana actors may have an edge, because the casting director is Rene Haynes, who grew up in Great Falls.

"She's the preeminent casting director for all natives in the industry" Staggs said. "She cast the natives in the Twilight series for the wolves. If you see a native on the screen, chances are Rene Haynes has been the casting director for that project. She's now based out of LA, but she has family up here in Montana, and we see up her a lot, so we're pretty excited. She's objective, but she's always pulling for Montana a bit."

The casting crew will be at the Holiday Inn in Missoula on November 5 before moving to Polson on November 8, and Browning on the 10th. Staggs says there are about twenty roles to fill.


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