Have We Seen the Last of Longmire’s Officer Mathias? A Chat With Zahn McClarnon

Zahn McClarnon as Tribal police officer Mathias on the abruptly-canceled series 'Longmire'

Native Actor Zahn McClarnon on Longmire and more

Zahn McClarnon is a Native actor with an impressive TV and film resume that includes Into the West, Repo Chick, The Red Road, and most recently A&E’s Longmire, on which he has had a recurring role as Tribal police officer Mathias. A few weeks ago, the A&E Network announced the series was canceled, and that the season 3 finale (which had aired August 4) was effectively the series finale.

The show’s legions of fans were not pleased, and took to social media to vent their frustration. Viewers started a hashtag campaign, #LongLiveLongmire, on Twitter, and posted complaints about the show’s cancellation on A&E’s Facebook page. Both efforts continue to this day—A&E’s attempts to promote its other shows (particularly reality fare like Wahlburgers, Storage Wars, Epic Ink and Love Prison) on Facebook are still met with nothing but a barrage of withering pro-Longmire protests.

According to Deadline.com, Longmire’s production company Warner Horizon is currently shopping to other networks as the show was A&E’s most-watched original drama series.

McClarnon shared his thoughts on the debacle with ICTMN.

When did you first learn A&E was canceling Longmire\**?**

I’ve known for about a month. I first discovered it online. I believe it was Deadline Hollywood that released the inside information.

We’ve learned from previous coverage that the show has a passionate following among ICTMN readers.

Our fan base is really great. They have been so awesome. They call themselves the Longmire posse. I’ve had an interview with them they are very supportive, they love the show and they want it to continue. We have had these twitter storms and stampedes with the hashtag #LongLiveLongmire, trying to get it to trend.

‘It’s a good show and I don’t think it’s done yet,’ says McClarnon.

But overall the fan base is just awesome, they love the show and they are very supportive. They want to see another network pick up the show, we all do. It’s a good show and I don’t think it’s done yet. It definitely has some legs left; hopefully we will see another network pick it up.

There are some great cast members as well as cameo roles that have been portrayed by native actors such as Graham Greene, Irene Bedard and of course the regular A Martinez. How has it been working with them?

I have worked with them in the past as well—they are good friends of mine. It is nice to have seen Graham again; I hadn’t seen him for a few years. Just being around Graham is great. I look up to him. He is a major craftsman. Irene and I have worked together since the 90s—we first did Crazy Horse in 1994. Irene is awesome.

I really like working on shows that are hiring Native actors. There are not any out there, and Longmire was the exception.

On A&E’s Facebook page and Twitter, the fans are really giving the network hell about the decision. What is your opinion on why they canceled it?

I wish I knew. I don’t know the inter-workings of the network but I’m sure it boils down to financials. What I read anyway—just like anybody else reads—A&E wanted to own more of the show, they wanted to make more money and their older demographic was not as desirable to them. They wanted a younger demographic to watch the show.

Like I said I don’t really know, there are just multiple layers. I wish I did know.

Where are your sights set now?

I just got a small part in a movie with Kurt Russell, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins called Bone Tomahawk. I’ll be going to Oklahoma for a movie called Mekko which is directed by Sterlin Harjo. Rod Rondeaux is a Crow actor playing the lead in Mekko. Then I will be going to South Dakota to shoot a film, Neither Wolf Nor Dog, which is a movie adaptation of the book by Kent Nerburn. I have a small part. I will also be co-producing.

Afterwards I am coming to Virginia as a Native actor for the American Indian Initiative at Colonial Williamsburg. I look forward to going out there we have a blast. I’ll be going back to Los Angeles in November.

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