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Paulina Alexis, an Indigenous Canadian Actress, is Breaking Barriers

  • October 17, 2021

Name: Paulina Alexis

Age: 21

Hometown: Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation Reserve, Alberta, Canada

Currently Lives: A one-bedroom apartment in Edmonton, while her family home on the reservation is being renovated.

Claim to Fame: Ms. Alexis is an Indigenous Canadian actress whose portrayal of Willie Jack on the FX dark comedy “Reservation Dogs” has garnered praise, including from Hollywood power players like Barry Jenkins. Created by Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo, “Reservation Dogs” is the first television series to boast an all-Indigenous writers’ room and roster of directors. “I always wanted to be an actor, but I felt embarrassed to tell anyone my dream,” Ms. Alexis said. “There was no representation on TV. I didn’t think I would make it.”

Big Break: Ms. Alexis comes from a family of filmmakers and followed her older brother, Nathan Alexis, into professional acting when she was 13. “Those open casting calls they have for Disney — I would always go to them, but I never got a callback.” On the day of her high school graduation, she got an email from her agent. “I was like, ‘What is this?” and then ‘Oh my god, it’s for “Ghostbusters.” Mom, I got “Ghostbusters”!’ I was flipping out,” she said. “My whole family started jumping up and down and going crazy.”

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