The Native American actor takes on ''SVU'' and HBO's new historical epic

Every week, you have a new movie,” enthuses Adam Beach, who is about to take his place as a Law & Order: SVU regular. On the NBC series’ season 8 finale (May 22 at 10 p.m.), Beach’s Chester Lake — an insomniac detective of Native American descent who first appeared in an episode last January — will become the unit’s newest investigator. Also this month, the Canuck stars as a Sioux doctor in HBO’s historical epic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (May 27 at 9 p.m.). But Beach, 34, who first caught fire as the troubled young man in the 1998 indie Smoke Signals and even sparked Oscar buzz as a soldier in the 2006 World War II epic Flags of Our Fathers, doesn’t worry about being typecast. ”I understand that I can’t play King Henry V or Nelson Mandela,” says the Saulteaux Indian. One bonus: He didn’t need to do any research for Wounded Knee. ”That part of history is embedded in all Native American people. It’s like identifying who you are.”