A few weeks back, music fans anxiously awaited Jay-Z’s music video for “Family Feud” when it was released on the streaming service, TIDAL.
Directed by Ava DuVernay, the video’s concepts are ones that are important and definitely set social media on fire. One of the video’s most standout elements was actress and activist Irene Bedard’s portrayal as Madame President.
Bedard spoke with Vincent Schilling from Indian Country Today to discuss her role in the music video and what it felt like to portray a Native Madame President, and what it was like working with Ava DuVernay.
In regards to playing Madame President, Bedard said, “It felt really great! I was out at Standing Rock as a special consult for the International Cities of Peace. We were there to ask permission from the elders regarding a peace treaty.”
Bedard was also excited by the prospect of working with DuVernay and said, “I got on a plane not knowing what I was doing except it was an untitled Ava DuVernay project. I love her and I knew whatever she was doing, it would be awesome. I went with complete faith.”
Bedard made sure that she portrayed Madame President in her own way and said, “I love that Madame President had red and black coloring, and had a modern and futuristic version of Yupiak / Inuit tattoos and red lines of the Plains people. I felt my tattoos gave a bit of a regal quality, but also to me the tattoos represented energy in the body, the third eye and the arrow down represented how at times we have to go down in order to come back up again.”
Bedard continued, “There was a lot of thought that went into this and in trying to pay homage to our ancient-ness but also moving into the future. I ended my statement with Mitakuye Oyasin ‘We are all related’ which is the same as E Pluribus Unum, meaning ‘Out of many, one.’ I put that in there and Ava was incredible about it.”
Be sure to read Bedard’s interview with Indian Country Today in its entirety here.
Check out the video for Family Feud below:
Source: Indian Country Today