Let Me Make You a Martyr, a new indie thriller set to hit theaters in 2016, features rocker Marilyn Manson in one of his most significant dramatic roles yet: as a Native American hitman.
The trailer debuted online Wednesday for the film that has has been criticized for not casting a Native American actor in the role. However, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Manson, 46, said he is himself of Native American descent.
“I am part Indian,” he told the magazine, before saying he didn’t know the race of his character when he signed on for the role because it was not explicitly stated in the script. Manson explained that his mother is Sioux, though that heritage was not a prominent part of his upbringing.
“I really didn’t have to change too much about myself physically,” he told Rolling Stone. “I already had just shaved my hair to a Mohawk and it’s black already, so without being stereotypical, that seems like the character would have that if he was part Indian. I think originally they had envisioned someone with long black hair.”
On Wednesday, Sioux activist Megan Red Shirt-Shaw led others in condemning the casting choice, saying that if the film must feature a murderous Native American character, that character should be played by an actor of that heritage. Red Shirt-Shaw Tweeted, “We choose Marilyn Manson to play a Native American character when we have so many amazing Native actors. Why?”
Manson has previously appeared in six episodes of Sons of Anarchy as well as movies such as Lost Highway and Jawbreaker.