‘Prey’s Amber Midthunder Opens Up About Responsibility of Playing a Female Comanche Action Hero

by Chris Piner

Although the fifth installment to the Predator franchise, Hulu’s Prey presents itself as a reimagining of the original series due to it taking place in North America in 1719. Following Naru, played by Amber Midthunder, the Comanche warrior struggles to prove herself to her tribe while protecting them from an alien who hunts humans and animals for nothing but sport. Along the way, Naru finds herself fighting more than aliens as everything from wildlife to fur traders seek to end her life. Receiving positive reviews from critics and fans, recently, the star sat down to discuss the film and her responsibility to Native Americans. 

While Prey follows the same format as any action movie dealing with a murderous alien, the film uses history to expand the story by detailing what Native Americans dealt with on a daily basis. Taking the Predator out of the film, Naru and her tribe constantly struggle with the changing world around them as fur traders ransack their land, killing bison for nothing more than making a profit. 

Taking part in an interview, Amber Midthunder noted that while doing stunts and acting in an established franchise can be daunting, she felt the most responsibility when it came to respecting her Comanche culture on the silver screen. Known for his visual storytelling, filmmaker Brad Curran stated that all the clothing, settings, and hunting styles depicted in Prey are historically accurate. 

Amber Midthunder Discusses Working With Canine Star Coco

After premiering at San Diego Comic-Con in 2022, Prey and Amber Midthunder received a mountain of praise as the film currently sits at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. The films also became the most-watched movie or television series on Hulu in the United States. With such success, it is only a matter of time before another film is announced. 

At only 25 years old, Amber Midthunder’s rise to stardom is no coincidence. She comes from parents deeply involved with Hollywood. Her father, David, took a career as an actor and stunt performer. His most recent credits included Dark Winds and 1883. Her mother, Angelique, landed the job as casting director for Reservation Dogs

Discussing her training regiment with IndieWire, Amber Midthunder explained her natural love for the outdoors.  “I was raised in the outdoors, always on dirt bikes. We had horses and big dogs growing up. I grew up being outside and being active, which I feel like really is where a lot of that comes from, those desires to even do roles or movies like this. For ‘Prey,’ we had a training camp that all of us went to in Calgary before we started filming. We worked with weapons and personal trainers and the stunt team to get ready.”

As for the other main character of the film, the canine who played Star, also gained love and support from fans. Amber Midthunder admitted Prey was the dog’s first film, “Her real name is Coco. That dog is a star. That dog is a fresh talent. First movie ever. Not raised as a movie dog. So what you see [in the film], honestly, I was so impressed. Much of Coco’s real time on set was chaos in a very fun way, at least to me.”