Prey Director Knew Amber Midthunder Was Perfect for Role "From the Beginning"

Though it premiered at the start of the month, the new Predator movie Prey is continuing to make fans around the world, along with reviving the franchise in a big way. Unlike previous movies in the series, this one is set hundreds of the years in the past but also has a young woman as its lead rather than a macho, muscled out marine. Amber Midthunder leads the project, playing Comanche warrior Naru, and according to director Dan Trachtenberg he knew that she was right for the role the second that they met with her for the audition. Speaking on The Filmcast, Trachtenberg revealed the circumstances of Midthunder booking the role, including the unusual audition process they had for the film.

"Frankly, I knew it the second that we met. We we did an initial audition over Zoom or FaceTime, pre-pandemic...So she was just terrific, and I knew her mom is a casting director but her mom also does stunts. Her Dad's an actor and very physical and I just I had this good feeling like, 'Oh, man, that must be a part of the equation for her.' And then we did a chemistry test. So a little bit more of an extensive audition. She auditioned the scene between her and her mother but three different ways. She did it once in English, once in Comanche, and then also non-verbally. Which is a thing that I've done before. I've never even audition that way, but I've done it for scenes in things I've worked on. So doing a dialogue scene but without the ability to use words you just have to convey what it was view, it was incredible. And that's such a big part of this movie is telling story, not verbally."

He continued, "And then there was a physical component, there was a stunt coordinator there and we developed this little obstacle course to see how they moved...The way people move is is so much of the fun of an action action movie. So I wanted to analyze that, and she wasn't just about the physical movement,  she was continuing to tell story in all the running and crawling and jumping and all those things. So that sort of just confirmed what I felt initially."

Prey can be watched right now on Hulu while Midthunder can next be seen in Netflix's live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender, taking on the role of Princess Yue, and on The CW's Roswell, New Mexico.