“My immediate reaction was tears. Not happy ones, anxious ones,’” reveals Amber Midthunder about finding out that “Prey,” the film she was about to headline, would be part of the “Predator” blockbuster sci-fi franchise. For our recent webchat she adds, “I think that it is genius. The movie speaks for itself. I don’t think that there’s any other way that it could have been done as beautifully as it was. Being able to show who Comanche people were at that time, and native people in general, that we are intelligent and innovative, and have this opportunity to represent us in ways that we have not previously had the opportunity of being represented.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“Prey” was directed by DGA Award nominee Dan Trachtenberg (“10 Cloverfield Lane”) from a script by Patrick Aison, the latest installment in the “Predator” film franchise, serving as a prequel to the first four films. Midthunder stars as Naru, young Comanche woman is determined to prove herself as a hunter on the Northern Great Plains of 1719. She finds herself protecting her people from a vicious alien (the Yautja, otherwise known as the Predator), which hunts humans for sport, as well as from French fur traders mindlessly destroying the buffalo that her tribe relies on for survival. Midthunder leads a mostly indigenous cast including Dakota Beavers as Taabe and Michelle Thrush as Aruka, with former international basketballer Dane DiLiegro co-starring as the fearsome Predator.
“I found out before I was cast that it was a ‘Predator’ film,” Midthunder explains. “I initially found out about the movie in early 2020, so it was over a year until we like did the final audition. All that I knew about it originally was that it was a story about a young Comanche woman who wanted to be a warrior. I didn’t know that it was ‘Predator’-related at all. That character and Dan, and that was basically it. I was really compelled by those things. I really connected with the character and there was something in it that really sparked something in me. Then when I met Dan and I got to sit down with him, we just developed this connection right away and this shorthand. As an actor, that’s what you hope for. For me, I’ve never been the lead of a franchise film before. So, that was obviously a big deal,” she says. “More than anything, it was the cultural aspect, the merging two two identities together, I realized that that was an opportunity either to do something really big or to mess up really big and that was really intimidating to me. I was afraid of having that responsibility and not knowing. That opened up a world of a lot of questions that I had, and not knowing what that would mean and what that would lead to.”
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