Blackstone’s Michelle Thrush in running for Leo

When Canadian actress Michelle Thrush first auditioned for the APTN and Showcase drama Blackstone, she had no idea her star turn would put so many trophies on her mantle.
Michelle Thrush

When Canadian actress Michelle Thrush first auditioned for the APTN and Showcase drama Blackstone, she had no idea her star turn would put so many trophies on her mantle.

“We’re looking at a second season. All these nominations are putting our show on the board,” she told Playback Daily after Blackstone, from indie producer Prairie Dog Film & Television, this week earned five nominations for Leo Awards in British Columbia, including a best female drama role for Thrush.

The Edmonton-made TV drama about an aboriginal community self-destructing already won five Rosies at the Alberta film and TV awards.

And Thrush already won the best supporting actress award at the 33rd American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco for the Blackstone pilot, directed by series creator Ron E. Scott.

A second season of the APTN and Showcase drama is in development after Blackstone was sold to Maori Television in New Zealand.

Scott is also shopping the series in the US market.

Blackstone, written by Gil Cardinal and Scott, features a slew of flawed heroes and likeable villains typical of dramas such as Entourage, The Wire and The Sopranos.

Dramatic tension in the made-in-Edmonton series stems from a new generation of First Nations leaders, led by band-member Leona Storey (Carmen Moore), looking to end the corruption and mismanagement of former band politicians.

“The writing is brilliant. They’ve taken a lot of stories that have been directly connected to communities and dramatized them,” Thrush said.

As she awaits word on when production on a sophomore season of Blackstone starts, Thrush is continuing to tour her one-woman show in rural British Columbia, with an eye to young audiences.