Mountlake Terrace HS grad featured in upcoming Scorsese movie

Lily Gladstone stars with Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie Killers of the Flower Moon which is being directed by Martin Scorsese. (Photo courtesy Paramount Pictures and Apple Studios)

Lily Gladstone, an actor who graduated from Mountlake Terrace High School in 2004, is starring in the upcoming movie Killers of the Flower Moon. The film is being directed by Martin Scorsese and also features Leonardo DiCaprio, Jesse Plemons and Robert De Niro.

The movie is based on David Grann’s acclaimed 2017 historical nonfiction book “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” which examines a string of murders committed against indigenous people of the Osage Nation in Osage County, Oklahoma during the 1920s. Members of the tribe became some of the richest people per capita in the world, at that time, after the discovery of oil beneath their land.

Then individual killings of the Osage began. Family members of Mollie Burkhart, an Osage woman, were particularly targeted among tribal members who died under violent or mysterious circumstances. The FBI began investigating the series of homicides after the death toll reached into the dozens. Failing to get results, the FBI’s young director J. Edgar Hoover tapped Tom White, who was a former Texas Ranger, to solve the rash of killings. White used an undercover team to investigate the criminal conspiracy involving a wealthy local rancher.

Gladstone, who has indigenous heritage from her father including Kainai (otherwise known as the Blood Tribe), Ampskapi Piikani (Blackfeet Tribe) and Nimiipuu (Nez Perce Tribe), portrays Mollie Burkhart in the movie adaptation of the best-selling book. She was born and raised in Browning, Montana on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation before her family moved to the Seattle area. Gladstone graduated with high honors from the University of Montana in 2008 with a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting/directing and a minor in Native American studies.

She has racked up several credits in film, television and stage productions. Her breakout role came portraying a rancher in Kelly Reichardt’s 2016 movie Certain Women and the performance earned her the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress. Gladstone was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female and the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor. She is also known for playing the character of Roxanne in the Showtime television series Billions.

According to her IMDb page, Gladstone currently has roles in three films that have been completed or are in post-production.

Production on Killers of the Flower Moon officially began in late April and a release date for the movie has not yet been announced. DiCaprio is portraying Mollie’s husband Ernest Burkhart, Plemons is cast as investigator Tom White and De Niro portrays rancher William Hale.

— By Nathan Blackwell

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