Raoul Max Trujillo

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Raoul Max Trujillo

Raoul Max Trujillo, aka Raoul Maximiano Trujillo de Chauvelon, was born to Luis and Lorainne Trujillo in Northern New Mexico on May 8, 1955.

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His zodiac sign is Taurus.  Trujillo is a mixed blood descendant of Ute, Apache, Comanche, Pueblo, Tlascalan, French, Sephardic Jew, and Andalusian Moor. He is an accomplished American actor, director, choreographer and dancer.

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A former soloist with the Nikolais Dance Theatre, he is the original choreographer and co-director for the American Indian Dance Theatre. He is the host for a series of dancing programs. In fact, Trujillo’s career spans more than 30 years and five continents in film, television, and theatre.

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Early Life

Trujillo is the fifth son in a family of seven kids.

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He said his dad worked at a maintenance job in Los Alamos to support the family. Trujillo credited his interest in acting to Española Junior High drama teacher Bill Yanda and to actress Frederica Johnson. In fact, he met Johnson while carrying out her groceries at Center Market, where he worked.

“She taught drama at Santa Fe Prep, and I talked her into teaching me, and 15 other students, in the evenings at Española High School,” said Trujillo.

Trujillo is a a 1973 graduate of Española High School and he now lives near Las Trampas.

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He learned to ski at Los Alamos, Taos and Santa Fe. After finishing high school, he served in the U.S. Army in Germany in the ski patrol.  After his discharge, he worked as an alpine ski instructor in Taos, New Mexico, when former owner Ernie Blake was still alive.  Ski Flash Magazine out of France wrote about him and his unique style of teaching skiing.

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Eventually, he left the world of professional skiing after traveling extensively through Mexico, Central and South America on his way to teach in San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina. It was a wake up call to exploring native America and beginning his journey in creating art based on his cultural roots.

He attended the University of Southern California to study dance and received a scholarship to the Toronto Dance Theater for a year.

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Early Career

Dance

He started work in the theatre as a scenic painter and landed his first job in 1977 as an actor/dancer in a production of Equus, in Santa Fe, N.M. It was his first paid professional work as well as his debut in the theatre with no training at all albeit high school drama. He now had the bug to study formally. He began dancing in Los Angeles in 1978 at USC and saw his first modern dance and ballet productions; Pilobolus, Martha Graham and Rudolph Nureyev. He was hooked.

The next two years, he trained extensively with the Toronto Dance Theatre and Nikolais/Louis Dance Lab in New York City on scholarships. He was asked to join Nikolais Dance Theatre under the direction of the master Alwin Nikolais. Nikolais became his mentor and he began touring the world performing in the grandest of opera houses and old Roman theaters in northern Africa to bamboo fields in China.

Additional skills

He also learned scenic, costume and lighting design during this time from 1980 to 1987. After leaving the company, he began his solo work as dancer and choreographer. It was at this time that he commenced his journey into shamanic ceremonials and incorporating native myths and legends in his work. After a decade of performing as a dancer, Trujillo served as an original co-director and choreographer for the American Indian Dance Theatre. It is the first professional native dance company incorporating traditional dance with contemporary retelling of myths and legends.  The American Indian Dance Theatre is a company of 26 dancers formed in 1987 that still tours throughout the globe.

Choreography

He choreographed, “The Shaman’s Journey”, for the Asia Society in New York City and later was adapted into a short film for PBS on Alive From Off Center.

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He went on to join creative partners Alejandro Roncerria and Rene Highway in Toronto. This work resulted in creating successful theatre pieces for Native Earth Theatre Company. He directed, “The Son Of Ayash” and “The Jaguar Project”. For Buffalo State College and the Repertory Dance Theatre of Utah, he directed,”The Maid of the Mist and the Thunder Beings”, and for the Ordway Music Theatre, “Tribe”.

Dance Project

His work with Alejandro continued and he helped establish the Aboriginal Dance Project at the Banff Center for the Arts to further train Indigenous dancers from all over the world. For New Line Cinema, he choreographed the dances, ceremonies and rituals for Terrence Malick’s film, “The New World”. Raoul began work as an actor in film and television in 1988 and continues to work up to the present. See resume for those projects.

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Tzacol

Finally, he created his present company Tzacol productions, Inc. in 1992. It is the umbrella company for Tzacol Tantric Theatre and Tzacol Tribal Theatre made up of dancer, actor and aerial artists, producing original work in the realm of tartaric and tribal spectacle. “Forbidden Goddesses”, is the first realized work. Work on “Journey”, a multi-media piece for Roots and Rhythms Festival in Santa Fe resulted in the full evening work, “Homo Erectus”. To clarify, these last works are multi-media and inter-disciplinary theatre and film projects. “The Dreamer” is his first completed screenplay.

In 2002, he received the CANCOM Ross Charles award in Canada to attend the Banff Center’s screenwriters workshop for aboriginal storytellers. The last branch of the company, Tzacol Tantric Arts produces painting and sculptural art. His work now spans more than three decades as an artist in varied disciplines and media. He has gone from dancer to choreographer, actor to director and screenwriter during this time.

Trujillo created, directed and performed in The Shaman’s Journey, originally commissioned by the Asia Society in New York. He later adapted it for film and television by PBS. Raoul has directed numerous projects for Native Earth in Toronto, the Repertory Dance Theatre of Utah. He has been a master teacher for the Aboriginal Dance Project in Banff, Alberta for more than 10 years.

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Personal Life

Raoul Max Trujillo was married to Jessica Hunsden Carey from 2006 – 2011. Jessica (known as Iscah) is a Santa Fe native and professional photographer.

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The two raised Freesians, Gypsy, Appaloosas, Arabian and Tennessee Walkers on a 10 acre ranch Trujillo bought.

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They are now divorced, however, they are still very close and spend a good amount of time together.  Raoul has one step daughter, whom he refers to as Padme.  She is now an adult.

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Trujillo has been acting for 18 years, most recently as interpreter Tomocomo in the movie, “The New World,” and as Red Cloud in Steven Spielberg’s miniseries “Into the West.”

Before delving into acting, Trujillo was a dancer and soloist with the Nikolais Dance Theater in New York. He was the original choreographer and co-director for the American Indian Dance Theatre, which has performed throughout the world.

Trujillo speaks German and French and says his heritage is Apache, Ute, Spanish Moor, Ladino Jew and French.

He is the god-parent of his friend Alex Meraz’s son Somak.

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Trujillo is a deadly snow shoer.  He was an aerialist and stilt-walker in the early years at Burning Man.  Raoul has circumnavigated the globe twice.

Personal Quote:

If you’re not living on the edge, you’re in the way!

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Filmography:

Trujillo is famous for Zero Wolf, the Mayan villain in Apocalypto in 2005.

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His other film credits include Hard Powder with Liam Neeson and Emmy Rossum; Soldado, opposite Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin; Octavio Is Dead alongside Sarah Gadon and Rosanna Arquette;

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Blood Father, opposite Mel Gibson; and Cowboys And Aliens opposite Daniel Craig. He was featured in Terrence Malick’s epic The New World, for which he choreographed a series of native dances. Other films include Bayou, The Blue Butterfly, Betrayed, The Adjuster, Montreal Vu Par, Black Robe, and Highlander III.

On television, Trujillo portrayed “Massasoit” in the limited series Saints & Strangers, earning him a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for “Best Supporting Actor.”

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He can also be seen in Frontier, opposite Jason Momoa;

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Neverland; Moby Dick, opposite William Hurt and Ethan Hawke; Salem; Da Vinci’s Demons and The Wrong Mans. For example, his other work includes the epic miniseries Tin Man, opposite Alan Cumming and Zooey Deschanel, which averaged more than 6.3 million viewers for the SyFy Channel.

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Additional television credits include Largo Winch, La Femme Nikita, The Sentinel, Renegades, JAG, Lonesome Dove, The Rez, The Unit, The War of 1812, Sinbad and Witness to Yesterday. Dancing, the series for Public Television in New York in which Trujillo hosted, garnered him an Emmy® nomination for Best Performer.

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Finally, when he’s not on a film set, Trujillo divides his time between London, Los Angeles and his beloved New Mexico desert.

Comprehensive Filmography Listings

SACAJAWEA the Windcatcher (announced)

White Eagle (as Raoul Trujillo)

Shaidan (pre-production) Nate Greywind

2019 Cold Pursuit (post-production) Thorpe

2018 Money Is King (Video) Detective Ramirez (as Raoul Trujillo)

Mayans M.C. (TV Series) Che ‘Taza’ Romero

Mayans M.C. – Inside Season 1: Training The Cast        Che ‘Taza’ Romero.

Mayans M.C. – Inside Season 1: Meet the Brotherhood   Che ‘Taza’ Romero

22 Chaser Wayne (as Raoul Trujillo)

Sicario: Day of the Soldado Rafael

Octavio Is Dead! Octavio

2017-2018 Jamestown (TV Series)  Opechancanough / Opechancenough

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2017 Hochelaga, Land of Souls   Le Prophète

Get Shorty (TV Series)   Josias

Pretty Is (Short)  Leander

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2016 13 Steps  Tero (as Raoul Trujillo)

Frontier (TV Series)  Machk

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2016 MacGyver (TV Series)  Joaquin ‘El Noche’ Sancola.

The Blacklist (TV Series)  Hitman / Mato

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2016 Blood Father The Cleaner (as Raoul Trujillo)

2015 Saints & Strangers (TV Mini-Series)  Massasoit

Salem (TV Series) The Shaman

Sicario    Rafael (as Raoul Trujillo)

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2015 Banshee (TV Series)   Sani Crow

Major Crimes (TV Series) Javier Mendoza

2014 The Wrong Mans (TV Series)  Carlos Esposito / Carlos Espinoza / Carlos Espinosa

Manhattan (TV Series)    Javier

I Persecuted   Mr. Gray (as Raoul Trujillo)

Da Vinci’s Demons (TV Series)   Topa Inca Yupanqui

2013 Republic of Doyle (TV Series)   Eli Kane

Riddick  Lockspur (as Raoul Trujillo)

Strike Back (TV Series)   Miguel Gomez

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2013 Longmire (TV Series)   Grady Littlefoot.

2013 Blaze You Out   Brujo (as Raoul Trujillo)

2011-2012 Lost Girl (TV Series)  The Garuda

2011-2012 Heartland (TV Series)  Renard

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2012 The Firm (TV Series)   Chapter Ten… (as Raoul Trujillo)

2011 Neverland (TV Mini-Series) Holy Man

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2011 Cowboys & Aliens Black Knife (as Raoul Trujillo)

Moby Dick (TV Mini-Series) Queequeg

CSI: NY (TV Series)   Odelin Gonzales

2010’s

2010 Edgar Floats (TV Movie)   Jesus (as Raoul Trujillo)

Triassic Attack (TV Movie) Dakota (as Raoul Trujillo)

Love Ranch    Hernan Prado (as Raoul Trujillo)

2009 Triggerman (TV Movie)  Medicine Man (as Raoul Trujillo)

Doc West (TV Movie)   Medicine Man (as Raoul Trujillo).

In Plain Sight (TV Series)   Felix Calderon

The Unit (TV Series)   Father Sebastian

2008 Spinners (Short)  Alfonso (as Raoul Trujillo)

True Blood (TV Series)  Longshadow

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2008 Ancestor Eyes (Short)  Charlie (as Raoul Trujillo)

2007 Tin Man (TV Mini-Series) Raw

The Lives of Angels   Castro (as Raoul Trujillo)

2006 Apocalypto    Zero Wolf (as Raoul Trujillo).

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2005 The New World    Tomocomo (as Raoul Trujillo)

Into the West (TV Mini-Series)   Red Cloud

Blood Trail (Video)   Bloody Hands Spirit (as Raoul Trujillo)

2004 Frankenfish (TV Movie)   Ricardo (as Raoul Trujillo)

The Blue Butterfly   Alejo (as Raoul Trujillo)

2003 Freedom: A History of Us (TV Series documentary)  John Allen / Matthew Lyon / Cherokee Spokesperson

Veritas: The Quest (TV Series)   Ramiro

Betrayed (TV Movie)   Bill Lebret (as Raoul Trujillo)

Adventure Inc. (TV Series)   Agent Harami

2001 MythQuest (TV Series)    Tezcatlipoca.

Largo Winch (TV Series)   Jacob Santos

2000 The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne (TV Series)   The Inquisitor

Canada: A People’s History (TV Series documentary)   Iroquois Warrior

Avengers: United They Stand (TV Series)   Prince Namor

1990’s

1999 War of 1812 (TV Mini-Series)   Tecumseh

La Femme Nikita (TV Series)  Chris Ferreira

1998 Waking Up Horton   Horton (as Raoul Trujillo)

The Adventures of Sinbad (TV Series)   Korla

Witness to Yesterday (TV Series)   Tecumseh

The Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time (Video Game)   Aviator Leader

1997 Song of Hiawatha  Pau-Puk-Keewis

House of Frankenstein (TV Mini-Series)  Woody

Silk Stalkings (TV Series)  Ernesto

Sisters and Other Strangers (TV Movie)   Jimmy Coyote (as Raoul Trujillo)

1996 The Sentinel (TV Series)   Spirit Guide

Renegade (TV Series)   Ricardo Pena.

Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years (TV Series)  Gabe LaRoche

JAG (TV Series)   Drug Boss

1995 The Invaders (TV Series)   Carlos Suarez

Black Fox: The Price of Peace (TV Movie)   Running Dog

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1995 Black Fox (TV Movie)   Running Dog.

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1994 Trial at Fortitude Bay (TV Movie)   Simon Amituq

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1994 Highlander: The Final Dimension   Warrior #1

1993 Medicine River (TV Movie)   Floyd

Destiny Ridge (TV Series)   Sam Whitehorse

Paris, France   Minter

Gross Misconduct: The Life of Brian Spencer (TV Movie)   Diane’s boyfriend

1992 Shadow of the Wolf   Big Tooth

The Swordsman   Jojo

L’automne sauvage   Regis Santerre

The Broken Cord (TV Movie)   Emil Bear Heart

1991 Montréal vu par…    Homme passion (segment “Vue d’ailleurs”)

White Light   Hatchet.

Clearcut   Eugene

Black Robe    Kiotseaton

The Adjuster   Matthew – His Lover

Scanners II: The New Order  Peter Drake

1990 E.N.G. (TV Series)    Lucas Green

Rin Tin Tin: K-9 Cop (TV Series)   A Day in the Country (1990) …

Street Legal (TV Series)   Raoul Hidalgo

Deadly Nightmares (TV Series)  James.

Counterstrike (TV Series)   Rojo

Divided Loyalties   Cornplanter

Miscellaneous Crew (2 credits)

2005 The New World     choreographer

1989 Friday the 13th: The Series (TV Series) technical consultant

– The Shaman’s Apprentice (1989) … technical consultant

Producer (1 credit)

2018 The Blessing (Documentary) (executive producer)

Self (6 credits)

2014 Riddick: The Twohy Touch (Video documentary short)   Himself

2010 Wild Horses and Renegades (Documentary)   Speaker

2007 Becoming Mayan: Creating Apocalypto (Video documentary short)   Himself

2007 Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: The Making of Tin Man (documentary)  Himself

2006 Making ‘The New World’ (Video documentary)   Himself.

2002 Chiefs (TV Mini-Series documentary)

Narrated by / Narrator

– The Pontiac Rebellion (2002) … Narrated by Raoul Trujillo

– The Black Hawk War (2002) … Narrator

– Sitting Bull. Part 2 (2002) … Narrator

– Sitting Bull. Part 1 (2002) … Narrator

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