Q'orianka Kilcher in Going Back to Cali (2020)

Who Plays Angela Blue Thunder on 'Yellowstone'? Q’orianka Kilcher Plays Broken Rock Reservation's Fearless Attorney

Q'orianka Kilcher plays the fearless attorney Angela Blue Thunder on the hit western drama Yellowstone and fans were excited to see her return in season 5. Kilcher initially joined the Yellowstone cast in season 3 when she was hired by Chief Thomas Rainwater to help destroy Market Equities from purchasing large swaths of land. When Rainwater hires her, he explains that her duty is to help the people of the Broken Rock Reservation. 

Kilcher's character is a dynamic, sharp attorney who has an "anything it takes" attitude when it comes to destroying those who want to take her people's land. She isn't afraid to speak up to Rainwater and she'll carry out any acts in order to reclaim what is theirs. In an interview with Television Academy, Kilcher spoke about the importance of playing such a strong female character.

She said, "We don't constantly ride on horseback. We're lawyers and doctors and drive cabs, and that begins to break down the stereotypes. In movies in the past, we're savages. Humanizing and being relatable is a step in the right direction." Though fans only saw her in four episodes of season 3, she is reprising her role for Yellowstone season 5. She appears in the first episode, which appears to foreshadow her more prominent role in taking down the Duttons throughout the season. 

Who is Q'orianka Kilcher?

Q'orianka Kilcher at the AFI Fest screening of Guillermo del Toro's "Pinocchio" held at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 5, 2022 in Los Angeles, California

Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images

Q'orianka is a woman of many talents, including being a well-known actress. She is also a singer, director, producer, and activist. She burst onto the acting scene when she was only fourteen years old, playing the lead role of Pocahontas in The New World. The movie showcased the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, in the 17th century. According to IMBD, Kilcher's role as the Native American Pocahontas earned her, "The National Board of Reviews' best breakthrough performance of 2006 and the 2006 Alma Award for best Latin American actress in a feature film." Among her many acting awards, like winning Breakthrough Performance for the National Board of Review, Kilcher also won an award for Best Song for the Indie documentary Free China

Her acting and performing career spans over a decade, and she's been in several Hollywood blockbusters. She's acted in Hostiles, Princess Kaiulani, Color out of Space, and her most recent film, Dog. She will be making her directorial debut in her upcoming movie, Always Running. 

Kilcher was born in Schweigmatt, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany, but moved to Hawaii with her mother when she was two years old. Interestingly, her first name is neither German nor Hawaiian but Peruvian. Her father was an Indigenous Peruvian who is of ??Quechua-Huachipaeri origin. In the Incan language of Quechua, her name translates to "golden eagle." With such a mixed background, Kilcher says she's struggled to get cast into certain roles. According to IMDB, Kilcher talked about her casting issues, saying, "It's been disheartening at times. I'm never native enough, and I'm never white enough."

Even though her first on-screen role didn't happen until she was fourteen, Kilcher grew up performing. When she was six years old, she worked with Laurence Paxton at the University of Hawaii, studying classical voice. She also studied drama at the Diamond Head Theater and spent time performing in Hawaii and Los Angeles. When she was 12 years old, she received a full scholarship to the Musician's Institute in Hollywood. 

Kilcher isn't the only famous face in her family. She is first cousins once removed with superstar singer, Jewel. 

She's worked with Yellowstone cast members before

Kilcher has experience working with Taylor Sheridan, as she appeared in four episodes of Sons of Anarchy. Before becoming a renowned writer/director, Sheridan played deputy David Hale in the hit series, and Kilcher played the teenage daughter Filip 'Chibs' Telford, one of the leaders of a biker gang. Even though she had a small recurring role, she appears to have made an impact on Sheridan, who chose to cast her in Yellowstone

Kilcher has also previously worked with Gil Birmingham, who plays Chief Rainwater on Yellowstone. Kilcher portrayed Te-Ata, the Chickasaw Indian Nation's famed actor, drama instructor and storyteller, and Birmingham played her father. On filming with Birmingham again, Kilcher said, "It was so great to work with Gil because he was just so supportive."

Activism is an important part of her life

Actress Q'Orianka Kilcher attends the premiere of "Hostiles" at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater on December 14, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

As well as being a powerhouse entertainer, Kilcher is a passionate environmental and human rights activist. Just like her performance career, her activism began when she was young. She grew up speaking at youth conferences on issues involving environmental justice and is passionate about protecting Indigenous People's interests and communities. She served as a youth ambassador for both Amnesty International and Amazon Watch, an organization focused on protecting the Amazonian rainforest and its inhabitants. On her Instagram, Kilcher brought attention to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives organization by posting about the stolen sisters. The organization helps bring awareness and works to end the high murder and violence rates among Indigenous women. 

In 2010, Kilcher and her mother were arrested outside of the White House after Kilcher chained herself to a fence while her mother poured a black liquid over her. She was protesting Peruvian President Alan Garcia's meeting with President Obama. According to Television Academy, she was protesting the "Multinational extractive industry's effect on communities."


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