Exclusive Video Interview: Dark Winds' Kiowa Gordon on Jim Chee's Physicality in Season 2, Working with Jeri Ryan, & More

Kiowa GordonTonight, AMC airs the fourth episode of season two of Dark Winds. In last week’s episode, the assassin, Colton Wolf (Nicholas Logan), who previously shot Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon), followed him into the hospital where he was recovering, but Chee was able to skillfully fight him off before the assassin got away again. In tonight’s episode, while Joe Leaphorn (Zahn McClarnon) risks his life in pursuit of Wolf, Chee will consider a new proposition that could put him in more danger.

Recently, Gordon spoke with SciFi Vision about season two, including what it was like working with Jeri Ryan, the fight scene in the hospital, and more.

Watch the interview or read the transcript below.

***This interview took place prior to the start of the SAG-AFTRA strike***

SCIFI VISION:  To start off, can you just sort of talk about your character's journey this season? Where's  he headed?

Kiowa GordonKIOWA GORDON: 
He's a private eye now, as you see in season one…It's kind of like a revival for him. He's finding his center again. He's going back; he's back into his community. He's trying to live in a good way, living in hózhó, living in balance, and he's trying to give back to his community. In some ways, he's taken on these cases with little to no money sometimes. He's living in a seedy motel. He's a young guy, you know, stuff happens. You first see it when I come back in, and then, he's finding his way. He's his own man. Then, he gets thrust into this new little mystery case by Rosemary Vines (Jeri Ryan), and he's very skeptical of her. Something just doesn't sit right with him. She's not telling the truth here. So, he's trying to navigate that, but he also doesn't want to give off too much of like, what he's thinking, what he thinks he knows, all of that stuff, because he's a deep thinker. And he's got a job to do, and he also has to wear masks sometimes and be strong, even in the face of his own mortality that he has to come to terms with. I think, for him, he thought he was kind of invincible, especially after his encounter with Whitover (Noah Emmerich) and getting through that. [He was] pretty smug back in season one. I think, now, it's like, he's kind of humbled himself, and he's hurt people. He's trying to get back to Bernadette (Jessica Matten) and back to Joe. And I think the case, you get intertwined with Joe Leaphorn’s story as well. So, it's nice that we get to partner up as more of like, contemporaries, rather than he's my superior and I’m the subordinate. So, I think that shines through our dynamic this season. So, that's a nice little taste that we get to pepper in there. I think his journey of coming back and settling in and going back to his roots, and also moving forward with what he knows, what he's learned, his skills, and also just taking the time that's needed, that you can't just force this. You can be like, “Oh, I'm going to be the best student. I'm going to help out the community.I'm gonna chop wood every weekend.” It's a slow burn, and you see that with Joe and with his character, with Jim going back and trying to reconnect with Bernadette, which is, like, pulling teeth for him. And apologizing, because he's in the hospital, and all he can think about is like, all of his regret, I guess, that he has to live with. Just thinking of his mortality, and then, the guy (Logan) comes back to try to finish the job. Just the physicality that we get to play with this season was just awesome. I love the journey, that he gets his stuff done, even when he's has a bullet hole. He's still fighting for his life, fighting for the case, and trying to build his relationships. So, it's a cool - I think he finds his strength by the end of it, where, especially in the face of Rosemary Vines, when she's asking him to go to Acapulco with her. He's like, “What are you talking about? I can't do that. I already tried to leave this place once, actually twice.” So, I think it's good that he's really trying to put his foot down and try to actually set some foundation for his life in the future.

So, speaking of Rosemary, can you talk a bit about working with Jeri Ryan this season?

Yeah. Jeri Ryan, what a legend. Like, how cool was that, that she got on to the show, among a bunch of other cast mates that we just got this season that are so awesome? I love it. It just felt so good having all of them come on here, but Jeri specifically, the scenes between her and I, I think they were - I was I was kind of nervous at first when I was working with her, but it was cool. It kind of dissipated. We started laughing and joking around by the end of it. So, it's really like a dream come true to work with such greats like her.

You get quite a bit of of action this season…Do you enjoy that part of it? Or did you find any part of that difficult, in regards to [the physical] side of it?

…I loved it. I love just being physical. I grew up with four older brothers, so it's not new to me. But there were some aspects where it's like, “Oh, I gotta remember I have a bullet wound here, so I can't be as physical as I'd like, especially about the right side. Everything has to come from the left side, and then having to remember that, especially when you're running around in a hospital. Then, I think the hardest part was when I had to hoist myself up into this little crawl space. Like, how would you [do that]? I feel like you wouldn't have the motion or the strength to do that, but I guess adrenaline is just the kicker there. So, you're just like, “Oh, yeah, no, he could totally do that.” The heightened adrenaline, you're like, “Yeah, he probably messed up his shoulder, even more, probably tore some more ligaments in there,” but he had to survive. He's a survivor. So, that was fun a lot. I got to work with…[John Diehl]. I get a scene with him later on in episode five. I meet the People of Darkness [in the] ceremony thing going on, and I gotta fight this dude. I'm like, “I’m still hurt,” but I hit the dude in the face and all this stuff. I fight these dudes. Well, I think running around and jumping is fun. I love playing around like that.

Last season you said that one of the hard things was [trying not to crack] up a lot…Did you still find the the same thing this season?

Yeah. Yeah, every time, you know, in between, from “cut” to the next action, the takes in the scenes. It’s just we’re giggling and joking about the stupidest stuff. It was really hard, especially the scene [with] me and Bernadette, we’re in her trailer during the eclipse, and that whole time we were just goofing off. It's like, I feel like this is such an awkward scene for us, let’s make it even more awkward. So, it was really fun doing that, especially with Zahn. Zahn, what a character. We’re always goofing off too. And Nick Logan, surprisingly, [who plays] Colton Wolf. He's a freaking assassin, but off camera, he's like me. I don't know. We're two of the biggest goofballs, and you couldn't get us to shut up half the time, and it's funny, because our characters never even talk to each other, we just fight.

I think we're about out of time. Let me ask quickly, if you hopefully get a season three, who's somebody you'd like them more scenes with?

Ooh, who would I want to have more scenes with - If they bring A back, I'd like to work with him more. I love A Martinez who played Gordo Sena. Sally Growing Thunder (Elva Guerra), I feel like we never get to interact. Emma (Deanna Allison), we didn't even really interact at all this season.

I don't think you did.

I think that would have been nice. Yeah, I can't think of anything else on top of my head, but I just love the world we're living in, the world we're building, a family that we've come to grow. I just hope that we can keep it going.

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