Prey star eerily recalls wild bears lurking in woods around film site: ‘Was not aware!’

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Prey is set to be released on Disney+ on August 5, after almost four years since development first began on the film. In an exclusive, Prey’s lead actress Amber Midthunder shared the harsh reality and dangers of filming on-location. 

Prey is set to bring the Predator franchise back to life with Midthunder playing young Comanche warrior Naru who is desperately trying to prove her worth and protect her tribe from the alien beast. 

The latest addition to the Predator film franchise takes place in pre-colonial America 300 years before the 1987 original, with the intense action of its trailers taking the internet by storm. 

However, it was not just on-screen that the cast had mountains to climb, as the film was shot on location in the Canadian wilderness around Calgary. 

Midthunder shared how shooting locations were quite far out from the nearest point of civilization, and while she said this gave her a better focus on the film, it also provided some challenges. 

She said: “We were shooting in Calgary and then more in the surrounding areas so we were typically at least an hour outside of town. 

“It was definitely nice to be out in the woods and in that environment.” 

The American actress is a member of the Fort Peck Sioux Tribe and enjoyed the phenomenon of being able to work outside: “There’s something very relaxing about being in that environment when you are outdoors and you enjoy it.”

However, she also missed out on some key knowledge that may have changed her experience at the time. 

The majority of the film was shot during the summer of 2021, meaning the bears of wild Canada were waking up from hibernation.

Midthunder commented: “I somehow was not aware of this information. Apparently there was a bear wrangler or something, I was not aware of that.”

In a rather in-character comment, Midthunder revealed she doubted she would have been afraid even if she knew of the potential bear threat whilst filming “[But] I probably should have been.”

On-location shooting provides for beautiful imagery on camera, enabling the cast to interact with the land and allowing for incredible stunts and action scenes.

But this was not without its challenges as Midthunder noted the weather sometimes interfered with the tight filming schedule. 

One particular scene she was not keen on was when she found herself acting in flowing, ice-cold waters. 

She explained: “The river was literally arctic run-off water from the snow in the mountains so even though it was summer it was super cold.”

Although it came with adversity, Midthunder said filming in remote locations allowed her to step away from the outside pressures that her role came with. 

Not only is the young actress following in the footsteps of Arnold Schwarzenegger, she has now also become the face of representation for the Comanche Nation, introducing the tribe to the world. 

She said: “That was weirdly not on my mind, because there was so much that we had to do every single day. 

“There were always challenges, there was always some big exciting thing to shoot. 

“The country was closed because of Covid at the time so it actually felt like a really intimate experience. It was really just us. 

“All those outside pressures were very quiet in the process of shooting and I’m grateful because the focus for all of us was just to show up and do our best.” 

Prey premieres on Disney+ on August 5. 

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