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Jay Tavare

Jay Tavare



Birth Name



Also Known As

Jay Janani
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3 votes



Jay Tavare comes from a mutli-ethnic family that includes White Mountain Apache, Navajo and Latin. In his teenage years he moved to Europe where he worked as a musician and acted in several Royal Command Performances. Upon his return to the States he landed a role as Vega…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Jay Tavare: Be Fearless. The most important virtue to have in show Biz is persistence. You are being judged every time you audition but not getting the role does not make you a bad actor. Many times a casting agent is looking for specific type for a role and you may not fit that image or you are too tall or too young or not dark enough. There are times that you can change their mind by doing a great audition and making them rethink the role like Laurence Fishburne in the Matrix, Morpheus was not written for a black actor but now I could not imagine anyone else. When you get the chance to audition remember it is an opportunity to show case your talent and have fun and don't let the nerves get to you. I know this can be hard but I always reward myself after an audition no matter what the out come, this way I always look forward to the next one and I have got rid of the negative feelings that are usually attached to a casting call.

    • Jay Tavare:(About "The Missing") It's good to show both extremes. Before the 1990s, every Western or period piece had Native Americans who were these double-braided, bronzed savages running around going, 'Woo! Woo! Woo!' And after Dances with Wolves, the tables turned, and all the Indians were benevolent and all the white folks were evil. But our film strikes a balance-there's good and bad on both sides, like there is in real life.

    • Jay Tavare:(About Ron Howard) You have to hand it to Ron. In this age of political correctness, he's been daring enough to have a villain who's not just a witch, but an Apache witch. Early on in the project, Ron told me, 'Jay, your job is actually very difficult. Because what I want from you, constantly, is contrast, contrast, contrast.'

    • Jay Tavare: But I have to tell you: As much as I enjoyed it, Cold Mountain was by far the most physically challenging film I've ever done.

    • Jay Tavare:(About his role in "The Missing") For me, it was crucial that Kayitah was a three-dimensional character. He's a father, he's a warrior, and he's a medicine man. I know that in a lot of movies now there's this mystical element attached to Native Americans. But in reality, these Apaches are just human beings. If you cut us, we'll bleed.

    • Jay Tavare:(About his role in "The Missing") I became very emotional when I got this part, because the first person I met while preparing for the film was Elbys Hugar, who's a great-granddaughter of Cochise. She was one of the advisers Ron hired to coach us in Chiricahua Apache. That's how much attention Ron pays to detail. Chiricahua is a unique dialect-there are only about 300 people who speak it fluently. And we had two or three of them on the set. The thing is, Chiricahua is one of those languages that are slowly dying out, becoming obsolete, because they're spoken by so few people. And I'll never forget something Elbys said: 'You have to do this correctly, and I'll tell you why. When you appear in this film and you're speaking Apache fluently, and you do it right and well, all the young people in the tribes will see you and hear you. And maybe that will encourage them to be proud of who they are and to continue learning Apache so the language will continue to exist.

    • Jay Tavare: Hollywood has forever created these stereotypes of the stoic, silent, emotionless Indians. And let me tell you: Breaking those stereotypes gave me tremendous pleasure.

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