How an Oklahoma cowboy found himself exchanging movie lines with Leonardo DiCaprio
Professional rodeo cowboy Nick Lay never imagined starring with one of Hollywood's biggest stars in a major motion picture.
Lay, who has a ranch in Oklahoma, took a three-month break from professional rodeo competition to appear as an extra in Martin Scorsese's most recent picture, "Killers of the Flower Moon." A portion of the film was shot on his land, as reported by FOX 12 Oregon."It was purely by luck and happenstance," Lay stated. "They asked me, 'You want to be in a movie?' when they dropped by my ranch back home in Oklahoma to film. I responded, "Who doesn't?"
"Killers of the Flower Moon" tells the story of the Osage Nation's systematic murders in the 1920s in exchange for their oil-rich territory. The film revolves around the tumultuous and affectionate bond between Mollie Kyle (Lily Gladstone), who belongs to a bigger Osage family, and Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio), a World War I veteran hired by his unscrupulous uncle (Robert De Niro).
"They became one of the richest tribes in America at the time," Lay stated. "And, of course, that brought out all the beggars and thieves and everything that tried to kill them off for their head rights and take their money and the land away from them."Sharing lines with DiCaprio in a wedding scene was an even more surprising perk of Lay's unanticipated extra work.
Lay admitted to FOX 12 that he was somewhat anxious when he first met DiCaprio.
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"I mean, I was like, 'I adored you in Titanic,' the first time I saw him and had a conversation with him. You could have been able to use that headboard. Come on, now, please. No, but I had a lot of anxiety," Lay remembered. Not only did I forget DiCaprio's name, but I also forgot the role he was performing and other such details. And I was like, "Oh no, we're leaving," by the time they actually got going."
Not only was the steak and ice cream provided on set "great," but Lay also saw it as a personal opportunity because he is a member of the Cherokee tribe and the Oklahoma state tribal crime victim liaison. In that capacity, he seeks out assistance for Native Americans who have been the targets of violent acts.
"In Oklahoma, it happened to other tribes, Cherokee tribal members, other tribal members, where we got land allotments and they tried to take our land and cattle and everything away from us, too," Lay explained. "It’s a story that needs to be told."