Prey’s Amber Midthunder on Auditioning in English and Comanche

Hollywood newcomer Amber Midthunder stunned at the Los Angeles premiere of Hulu’s “Prey” on Tuesday.

“This is from the Sky-Eagle Collection,” she told me about her dress on the arrivals carpet at the Village Regency Theater in Westwood. “During this whole press tour, it’s been very important to me to always have an indigenous designer or jewelry or something like that. So with every look I’ve had, there’s been something native.”

‘Prey’, the fifth film in the ‘Predator’ franchise, is set in the Comanche Nation in 1717. Midthunder, an enlisted tribesman at the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Indian Reservation, plays Naru, a young warrior who saves her tribe of a predator (Dane DiLiegro).

Here, Midthunder shares more about her fashion choices, teaming up with an all-Native cast, and what it was like to dub the film in Comanche.

Dane DiLiegro, Dakota Beavers, Amber Midthunder, Michelle Thrush and Stormee Kipp attend the premiere of “Prey” on August 2 in Los Angeles.
Michael Buckner for Variety

Why was it so important to incorporate native designs into your red carpet looks?

This was never a question for me. Indigenous artists and Indigenous creators have so much to offer and are truly an untapped resource – whether that be fashion, filmmaking or business. If you look at our art and our clothing, we have things that you don’t often see, whether that be patterns or materials like shells and beads or earth paint. It’s really nice to be able to incorporate that into urban fashion.

What was it like the first day on set, when you looked around and saw that all the lead roles were Native?

It was very surreal. I get chills just thinking about it. The first day we got there everyone was in their outfits and I looked around and saw teepees and people in their buckskin. It just became so transcendent and kind of very real. At one point in history, it really looked like this. This is what it really was like for some of my ancestors. To see this and think about what we were achieving, it was just amazing.

What was it like dubbing the movie in Comanche?

The film was originally set up to include him entirely in Comanche. When we auditioned, we did all our scenes in English and Comanche to make sure we could do it and how it might play. We ended up making the film in English, but going back to Comanche is very special in terms of language preservation. We also make history. No movie has ever been released in a Native dub when it was originally released. I think it’s a huge victory and a huge thing that we can claim as a people. And just to familiarize me with the Comanche language – it’s not at all like the language I grew up in [with] — it felt like a personal gift for me to get to know the culture and language so well.

“Prey” premieres August 5 on Hulu.

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