Prey star Amber Midthunder has revealed that during the production of the upcoming Predator sequel, she considered the appearance of and story surrounding the franchise’s signature aliens to be a “side piece” to the film’s “hugely important” goal of providing Native Americans with “representation”.
Midthunder, who leads the film as the Comanche warrior Naru, spoke to her outlook towards the Yautja during a recent interview with the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Gazette given in promotion of the Hulu original’s rapidly-approaching release date.
Asked by writer Josh Wilding if “it was important to you that, as well as a great sci-fi thing, the portrayal of the Comanche Nation was very authentic and delivered the sort of representation we don’t always see?”, the actress first recalled, “I never knew originally that this was a Predator film.”
“I only knew that it was a film about this young Comanche woman who wanted to be a hunter,” she playfully explained. “To me, that was what the movie was. Later, I found out that there was a big alien space monster too.”
However, despite being the central connecting element between every film in the series, Midthunder said that the Predator “was a side piece of the movie because the representation is definitely a hugely important part of this story.”
“Around the world, First Nation people of North America aren’t everywhere and, even in North America, it’s a very small population,” Midthunder explained. “In media, getting to showcase period culture…when you make a period piece and show First Nation or indigenous people and having that be accurate and also very human and grounded and relatable has a huge impact on the community and people in my opinion. That was hugely important.”
The actress would later note that the film was not just a specific victory for Native American representation, but also for women.
In reply to Wilding inquiring as to what she most enjoyed about playing a female character is “is a warrior and not a cook”, Midthunder observed that it was “the feeling of really believing in yourself or something and wanting to prove that to people or having naysayers who make you believe in it more.”
“But also having moments where you also doubt yourself,” she continued. “I think that’s relatable no matter the challenges or who you are. That’s really what she goes through. That’s her journey.”
She then opined, “On top of that, I think it’s an incredible thing 20th Century and Dan did to get behind a movie like this where there is a strong, female indigenous character in an action movie where people can look at it, especially Native women and kids, and hopefully identify with it [and say] ‘Wow, we have our own’.”
“We’re getting more,” she concluded, “but that to me is what’s really amazing.”
According to a plot synopsis of the film previously provided by 20th Century Studios, “Set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago, ‘Prey’ is the story of a young woman, Naru, a fierce and highly skilled warrior.”
“She has been raised in the shadow of some of the most legendary hunters who roam the Great Plains, so when danger threatens her camp, she sets out to protect her people,” it continues.
“The prey she stalks, and ultimately confronts, turns out to be a highly evolved alien predator with a technically advanced arsenal, resulting in a vicious and terrifying showdown between the two adversaries,” the synopsis concludes.
Prey hits Hulu on August 5th.
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