Here is an article from USA Today (Fall '93)
Question: I wonder : is Eric Schweig of THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS an American Indian? What will he do next? Schweig, who lives in Vancouver,British Columbia, stole hearts, and nearly the show, as Daniel Day-Lewis' screen brother. Born in Arctic Canada to an Inuit mother and German father, he was adopted as a baby by whites who he says beat him and sent him to a school where he was called "redskin" and "nigger". That helped him "understand ignorance". He found his biological mother, an alcoholic, three days after her death, he tells us. The 26 year old bachelor has been acting for six years,ever since a stranger tipped him off that "an Indian dude" was needed for a low-budget movie,"Shaman Source". Schweig was just in CBS' Shenandoah ( For Love and Glory); in December he's in TNT's "The Broken Chain".Next spring he'll be in "Indian Warrior" ( Squanto), a Disney film under production in Canada.
And here is an excerpt from TEEN BEAT, an interview with Brad Renfro:
TEEN BEAT: Did you see either of those movies for research? The great Jackie Coogan was in the 1930s version. Back then, kids feared the Injun Joe character. A lot of moms had to take kids under 10 out of theaters crying!
BRAD: I didn't see either of the movies-and I didn't want to either. It might've influenced me as to what Huck was supposed to be like. I read the book and wanted to draw my own conclusions about him. Certainly, he was mischievous and a challenge and a pal to Tom at the same time. I felt that way about the other characters too. I didn't want to see any pre-existing movies, including the couple of TV movies and cartoons that were done. Injun Joe is a legendary character, and I thought that this movie portrayed him as not just the cold-blooded killer he was portrayed as in the past. This film delved deeper into his soul and his past. Eric Schweig, who played him, did a brilliant job. He truly looked scary. He would sneak up behind me when I was grabbing junk food off the craft service truck and go "Boo!" I must've dropped about six Milky Ways-which the catering guys kept in the freezer for me every day-into the thick Alabama mud one day!
(Picture copyright Rose 99)