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Aminah Nieves Says Mo Brings Plenty Was A Light Through 1923's Intense Scenes

Betrayal and violence are commonplace in Taylor Sheridan's "Yellowstone" universe, but the events of "1923" are more harrowing and brutal than ever before. This is largely due to the visceral storyline revolving around Teonna Rainwater (Aminah Nieves), a young Indigenous girl who suffers monstrous treatment in a Catholic boarding school. These schools were a dark period of American history where Indigenous children were taken from their families as colonizers tried to indoctrinate them into Christian society. Practices such as family separation continued into the 1960s before being disbanded officially.

Viewers witness uncomfortable scenes where Teonna is abused by Sister Mary (Jennifer Ehle) in an attempt to assimilate her into society. These scenes were often so difficult that Nieves and Ehle needed safe words to make it through the shooting process. Luckily, that wasn't the only source of support that Nieves had on set while acting through these scenes. Also on set was "Yellowstone" alum Mo Brings Plenty, who Nieves credits as a helpful aid during these circumstances.

Mo Brings Plenty brought support to the 1923 set

Watching Teonna's experiences is not easy viewing for anyone, but Aminah Nieves eventually became confident that it was a story that deserved a place in mainstream media. 

"It is a lot to carry, and also I think it's our duty to carry it," Nieves told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's our duty to tell these stories and to share these stories. I wanted to get it right." Aiming for authenticity, Taylor Sheridan enlisted the help of Mo Brings Plenty. A familiar face in "Yellowstone," he also serves as the American Indian Coordinator Consultant for "1923." His job is to make sure the scenes are playing out accurately as well as support Nieves and other actors.

"Mo was such a light for me," Nieves continued. "He was always there next to me before and after every scene. He and Birdie [Real Bird] were standing there during every scene. I think that really helped. Mo and I have shared sentiments. People don't know that behind the scenes, Mo was there every second of every single day. That means so much." Nieves explained that without Mo and Birdie's support, the material may have been too much for her to handle. Brings Plenty and Nieves acknowledged to THR the importance of telling this story.

"[I]t was reassuring that we're not in this alone," Brings Plenty added. He concluded, saying: "[I]t takes a village to bring to life a great story."