Centurion: The Dancing Stallion Interview Amber Midthunder & Dana Gonzales

By 4/22/2023 09:45:00 AM , ,

For a peek behind the scenes of Centurion: The Dancing Stallion, releasing on Digital and On Demand April 25, I interviewed Amber Midthunder and Director Dana Gonzales.

Note: I was invited as media for screening and cast interview. However any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.

Centurion: The Dancing Stallion is a tale of overcoming adversity and finding strength from unexpected places. Just based on that, it's a great film for families.

But Centurion also offers a peek into the culture of Mexican horse dancing. So I wanted to ask the duo how they researched and prepared for that.

Preparing for the Role

Amber Midthunder Interview for Centurion The Dancing Stallion

Amber Midthunder: Learning more about the film, what it was about and having those conversations with Dana to figure out kind what the bones of it were, was kind of how we moved into like exploring in that way.

And then the preparation, we were not afforded a lot of times. So it was pretty short and it was a lot of just witnessing pieces of what the trainers did with the horses. And having them show me little things. Like this is what you do with your hands, do with your feet, be careful, don't do that.

Amber Midthunder: Kind of, learning as we go and using what prep time we had, to try to learn as much as I could. Then we just got into it.

I grew up with horses, but I never did rodeo or anything like that. I just know how to ride western.

Highlighting Native/Mexican Cultures

Amber Midthunder: Well, I am Native American, I'm Lakota Nakota Dakota. I grew up in New Mexico, I'm not Latin. So to be around this culture and to be welcomed in, was really special and amazing.

To be able to witness this whole world and how the people feel about this kind of amazing sport and art form and being trusted with that, was really special.

Filming the Story

Dana Gonzales Interview for Centurion The Dancing Stallion

Dana Gonzales: I was given the script and told read it and I could do whatever I wanted with it. When I read it, it had so many interesting kind of elements to it, with the storytelling that I'm interested in.

And than going up to this ranch, where our executive producers owned and meeting them and hearing this story, because it's based on a true story. While our storiy is fictional, it is based on this true story.

Dana Gonzales: So hearing more about that, being introduced to centurian, the culture a little bit more, the facilities and be able to tell this story about family, love that triumphs, these are things that I'm interested in filmmaking.

And then being able to to work with Amber and the actors to find this kind of secondary story inside that script, was really a beautiful process, that I think you see the movie.

Researching Mexican Cultures

Dana Gonzales: I went to one of the big events. And then spent in napa, where we shot. Then I grew up in the Mexican culture, so I instantly kind of know that world.

My father's Mexican and I could be dropped into it and I'm very comfortable with it. So, I think the more i was dropped into it there, the more it was accessible and the more it felt real.

I think for all the people in the Latin community that will watch this film, they're gonna feel very at home with it because I know I do.

Message of the Film

Amber Midthunder: I think there's a lot for people to take away, and that's what's beautiful about it. Whatever you want to focus on, I think you can. And ultimately it's a story of of hope. And of love. I think there's so much love in the movie.

There's obviously like a young love story, but there's also family, and there's the relationship between Alicia and Centurion, and as much as there is difficulty there, I think there's just as much joy.

Dana Gonzales: Also triumph and overcoming. You know, over overcoming this disease and even bringing some awareness to it. And supporting very strong families in this world, and that's what's going to create the foundation for future generations.

So anything that has that element in it. It's always going to be a win for me.

Centurion: The Dancing Stallion


The journey begins as Ellissia (Midthunder) adopts a white stallion to train in the art of Mexican horse dancing. As she starts teaching the handsome but previously abused Centurion, Ellissia falls critically ill, which keeps her from competing in a celebrated equestrian event.

Under the watchful eyes of her father (Zane), new ranch hand Danny (Aramis Knight) steps in as trainer, hoping to win the competition — and, perhaps, Ellissia’s heart.

Cast: Amber Midthunder (Prey, “Roswell: New Mexico”, “Legion”), Aramis Knight (“Into the Badlands”), Michael Cimino (“Love, Victor”) Patricia DeLeon (Station 19), Sal Lopez (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), and Billy Zane (Titanic)

Centurion: The Dancing Stallion (2023) Official Trailer

Executive Producers: Nancy White Gamble, George Gamble, Rob Schneider
Co-Executive Producer: Billy Zane
Produced by: Dana Gonzales, Boon Collins, Randolf Turrow, David Tanner
Written by: Boon Collins

Learn more, visit - www.lionsgate.com

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