After months of anticipation, Hulu’s predator prequel prey finally premiered on August 5, 2022. Earning rave reviews for its 18th-century western setting that pits the feral monster against a Comanche tribe, the film stars a tremendous cast of relatively unknown First Nations actors who lend convincing authenticity to the compelling story.
While the cast may not feature household names just yet, fans of prey are bound to recognize their faces from a slew of popular movies and TV shows that have been released in recent years. As such, it’s time to get reacquainted with the excellent cast of prey and remember some of the actor’s most memorable work to date.
Amber Midthunder – Roswell, New Mexico (2019-2022)
prey stars Amber Midthunder as Naru, a young Commanche warrior/healer who wants to become a fierce hunter like her brother, Taabe (newcomer Dakota Beavers), ultimately proving herself by defeating the Predator (Dane DiLiegro). Many will recall Midthunder from her biggest role to date, which happens to be Rosa Ortecho on The CW’s sci-fi drama Roswell, New Mexico.
Roswell, New Mexico follows Liz Oretcho, a biomedical researcher who returns to her titular hometown to learn her ex is really an alien. As Liz’s artistic yet flaky sister Rosa, Amber plays a much different character than in prey. Rosa is a drug-added teen who is believed to have died of an overdose before resurrecting with extrasensory powers. Midthunder’s Naru is much braver, and independent, and uses her inner strength to prove herself as the mightiest warrior in her tribe, proving Midthunder’s tremendous acting range.
Dane DiLiegro – American Horror Stories (2021)
Dane DiLiegro portrays the Predator in prey, the extraterrestrial apex monster who terrorizes Naru and her Commanche tribe. Flirting with being typecast, DiLiegro has played several monstrous villains in his career, none more visible than as Ba’al in the beloved FX original series American Horror Stories.
The Season 1 title episode of American Horror Stories, “Ba’al” concerns Liv (Billie Lourd), a woman who receives a fertility totem after failing to get pregnant. Shortly after, Liv sees visions of a mortifying demon called Ba’al, which tries desperately to hunt her unborn child. DiLiegro has also played a walker on The Walking Dead and a Muscle Monster in Sweet Home, proving his worth as the go-to horror villain actor who uses his full body and expressive eyes to instill fear in viewers everywhere. As such, casting DiLiegro as the Predator makes perfect sense.
Julian Black Antelope – Hold The Dark (2018)
Julian Black Antelope plays the Commanche Chief Kehetu in prey, a commanding presence who presides over his tribe with great honor and integrity. As a First Nations actor from Canada, Julian has played several similar characters in the past, none more memorable than Cheeon in the acclaimed Netflix action movie Hold The Dark.
Hold The Dark follows Russell Core, a wilderness tracker hired to discover if a mother’s three deceased children were killed by wolves. With deep empathy as a father of his own missing child, Cheeon is a Yup’ik native who helps Russell and the aggrieved parents find closure by guiding them to a morgue to identify one of their children and building a coffin for another after enacting a blood ritual. Antelope’s genuine identity goes a long way in making prey and Hold The Dark credible from start to finish.
Michelle Thrush – Blackstone (2011-2015)
Michelle Thrush portrays Aruka, the mother of Naru and Taabe in prey, who wants her daughter to be a traditional healer and her son to be a typical hunter. Another Canadian actor and First Nations advocate, Thrush’s biggest role includes her 39-episode arc as Gail Stoney on the TV show blackstone.
blackstone is a political action drama set among the First Nations population in Canada, making Thrush’s role in prey quite germane to her past projects. An important glimpse into the profound issues that the marginalized indigenous population in Canada faces, Gail Stoney’s particular cross to bear was her battle with alcoholism. While Aruka doesn’t have such a problem, Thrush adds extra verisimilitude to prey that goes a long way in making the story believable.
Stefany Mathias – Pathfinder (2007)
In prey, Stefany Mathias plays Chief Kehetu’s wife Sumu, a powerful Commanche woman who encourages Naru to utilize plants to find medical benefits. Mathias also hails from Canada as a Squamish Nation descendant who brings the same level of authenticity to the cast. As such, many will recognize her as the mother in flashback sequences in pathfinder.
pathfinder is an action movie that traces the clash between Vikings and American Indian populations, with the orphaned Viking boy Ghost defecting and protecting the native tribes after his family is slain. As the mother who shows more sympathy to Ghost than most, Mathias’ brings even more sensitivity to Sumu in preyespecially when sensing Naru doesn’t want to follow a traditional path.
Bennett Taylor – Arrow (2018)
Bennett Taylor plays Raphael Adolini in prey, a French fur trapper, and translator who communicates with Naru and Taabe after his fellow voyagers trap her in a cage. In one of the few actors cast against type, Taylor’s most substantial role to date came as Crosby on two episodes of CW’s hit show arrow.
In arrow, Crosby plays a computer engineer and employee for the Star City Police who was ordered by Mr. Diaz to clean up a slew of illegal activity. Far removed from his role as an 18th-century explorer, Taylor’s feature film debut in prey proves he can credibly play different types of characters on the big screen.
Stormee Kip – Sooyii (2021)
Stormee Kip plays Wasape in prey, a Commanche warrior who is skeptical of Naru’s inherent prowess. A relative newcomer, Kip’s only other credit to date includes the historical drama sooyii, which tracks a young Pikuni tribesman (Kipp) out to confront the cryptic curse that claimed his family’s life.
While portraying characters from different tribes in each project, it’s great to see Stormee Kip get the opportunity to portray his own kind on screen and increase the visibility of the otherwise marginalized and barely seen First Nations populations onscreen.
Mike Patterson – Punisher: War Zone (2008)
In prey, Mike Patterson plays Big Beard, the odious leader of French fur trappers who also encounter the Predator along with the Comanche and use Naru and Taabe as bait to lure the beast in to hunt it. While some will recall seeing Patterson from the TV show The Moodys, his biggest title prior to prey includes Punisher: War Zone.
Punisher: War Zone follows Frank Castle’s relentless revenge campaign as he kills the Italian mobsters that took his family’s life. Patterson stood out as the Hotelier whose establishment is marauded by Castle in pursuit of his targets. While much different than Big Beard, Patterson’s leadership qualities in both movies shine through with a commanding screen presence.
Nelson Leis – Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina (2018-2020)
Nelson Leis plays Waxed Mustache in prey, a barbarous member of the French voyagers that acts mercilessly toward Naru and Taabe after they are captured. Another inspired bit of casting, Leis plays the sinister role fresh off her portrayal of Beelzebub in Netflix’s hit comic-based original series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
The coming-of-age tale follows Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka), a teen torn between her human and witchy existence and the eternal battle between good and evil. Leis stands out as the demonic Beelzebub, a member of the Plague Kings hell-bent on taking Sabrina’s life. While not quite as sinister in preyLeis continues to prove how convincingly he plays a ruthless villain.
Amber Midthunder – Legion (2017-2019)
Since all the major characters in prey have been covered, it’s time to come full circle with the movie’s lead, Amber Midthunder. If fans don’t recognize her from Roswell, New Mexico, they will certainly recall her as Kerry Loudermilk from the X-Men TV spin-off legion.
Legion follows the supernatural powers accrued by David Haller (Dan Stevens), a mutant diagnosed with schizophrenia. Midthunder plays Kerry Loudermilk, a mutant who lives inside the body of scientist Cary Loudermilk (Bill Irwin). Unlike Midthunder’s character in roswell, New Mexico, Kerry is much more in line with Naru in prey for the way she aggressively fights, channels her impervious superhuman strength to survive, and uses superior hunting and martial arts skills to bring down her assassins.
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