Director of "Prey," Dan Trachtenberg, describes his immediate confidence in casting Amber Midthunder for "Predator" and why she was so suitable for the role.
Director Dan Trachtenberg of Prey reveals why he thought Amber Midthunder was the right choice to play the title role in his film adaptation of Predator, which is now receiving widespread acclaim.
The character of strong mutant Kerry Loudermilk, who shared a body with mutant scientist Bill Irwin, propelled Midthunder to fame in the first place. This role appeared in the FX X-Men spinoff series Legion.
The 25-year-old actor has also acted in shows including Roswell, New Mexico on The CW, the second adaptation of Melinda Metz's science fiction drama books, and the Netflix action thriller The Ice Road.
Naru, played by Midthunder, is a brave Comanche woman in Prey who is eager to show her worth as a warrior and puts her talents to the test when a terrible and dangerous extraterrestrial menace emerges and begins hunting down the people she loves.
Dakota Beavers, Michelle Thrush, Stormee Kipp, Julian Black Antelope, and Bennett Taylor join Midthunder in the cast of the Predator prequel film. Dane DiLiegro plays the role of the original film's famous adversary.
Director of the Predator picture, Dan Trachtenberg, looks back on the one thing he knew would be a hit from the beginning, and how it led to worldwide accolades for the film's Indigenous casting, Trachtenberg's direction, and Midthunder's performance. Prey premiered on Hulu earlier this month.
When asked about the making of Prey, director Dan Trachtenberg spoke with The Filmcast.
The Predator film's director discussed his decision to cast Amber Midthunder as heroine Naru, recalling how he knew she was the right choice the first time they met.
Please read on to see what Trachtenberg has to say:
Sincerely, I had already made up my mind the moment we had first met.
Before the outbreak, we held an online audition using either Zoom or FaceTime.
She did a fantastic job, and I found out that in addition to being a casting director, her mom also performs stunts.
And I thought, "Oh, yeah, it must be a part of the equation for her," since her dad is an actor and he's extremely muscular.
After that, there was a chemical quiz.
To sum up, we're talking about an audition with a touch more rigour.
She tried out three alternative interpretations of a conversation she might have with her mother.
She performed it verbally in both English and Comanche, and then again without using words at all.
That's something I'm familiar with doing.
No, I've never done it for an audition, but I have for scenes in productions I've been a part of.
It was fascinating to try to act out a scenario with speech without the benefit of actual words.
And that's why the movie relies so much on visual storytelling rather than dialogue.
Then there was the physical aspect; we brought in a stunt coordinator and set up an obstacle course to observe their movement.
Much of the entertainment in an action film comes from the character's actions on the screen.
That intrigued me, and upon closer inspection, I saw that her emphasis on physical activity was more than simply a means to an end; rather, her endless running, crawling, and leaping served as a means to an end—a means to further develop the tale she was telling.
I guess that proves what I suspected all along.
Starring Amber Midthunder, Naru is the focus of the film Prey.
Prey, like Mad Max: Fury Road, was a far more subdued affair than the first Arnold Schwarzenegger Predator movie, preferring to let the suspense develop and the action do the talking.
Some viewers were let down by the absence of memorable catchphrases in the prequel, but the film has received widespread acclaim for its strong character development, especially in regard to Midthunder's Naru, who is consistently ranked as one of the finest female action heroes.
Trachtenberg's comments on Prey's casting process are consistent with Midthunder's earlier statements on the film's pre-production, namely the extensive training regimen he through in preparation for the film's action sequences.
Prey may have only been the beginning of Amber Midthunder's meteoric climb to fame, which is expected to continue unabated thanks to the success of the Predator picture.
Despite widespread speculation that she has been cast as Princess Yue in Netflix's live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series, the actor has been tight-lipped about the status of her involvement in the project.
In the meanwhile, fans of Midthunder's performance as Naru in Prey may watch the show on Hulu right now.