The Predator Costume In Prey Created Insane Physical Challenges That Co-Star Dane DiLiegro Fought To Overcome

Dane DiLiegro as the Predator in Prey
(Image credit: Hulu)

Predator fans seem pleasantly surprised by the latest chapter in the ongoing saga, Prey, which landed on Hulu this past weekend. Critics have been raving about Prey since it started to screen at San Diego Comic-Con, with multiple reviewers singling out director Dan Trachtenberg’s fresh approach to such time-tested material, and even more raving about the lead performance of Amber Midthunder. Setting Prey during the era of the Comanche Indians means that the movie had to find new ways for primitive weapons to potentially take down an extraterrestrial threat. But if you listen to Predator actor Dane DiLiegro, the suit he wore on set would have made it easy to defeat Predator, because he couldn’t see or hear anything while wearing his costume. 

The Prey cast stopped by CinemaBlend’s interview suite at San Diego Comic-Con and opened up about the process of filming Dan Trachtenberg’s movie ahead of it landing on Hulu. And when it came time for Dane DiLiegro to recap his experiences on set, he basically said he can’t wait to see the movie, because he saw next to nothing on set thanks to his Predator costume. Before the actor could weigh in, his director started raving about the process, explaining: 

The innovation for this movie—because we wanted the head to be so much more proportional to the body and not feel so top heavy and so ‘suit-y’ was not having to stuff the face inside with all the animatronics when we put the head above Dane's head. So when the face of the Predator is looking forward, Dane is looking down at the ground. So, all of those fight sequences… every time you see the Predator moving around, and it looks normal, Dane's sort of flying blind.

Like, literally blind. There were slits in the suit that Dane DiLiegro could peek through, but the mechanics of maneuvering inside of this incredible costume meant that he had to learn to move through his scenes without looking up. Or, according to the towering actor, hearing anything beyond the animatronics in his face rig. As he told CinemaBlend:

I couldn't hear anything, because they put the God mic in my ear, so I could hear Rich (Cowan) give me the cues. But Dave would turn on the animatronics and I’d hear ‘Bzzzzzz’ (with) my whole head, buzzing. Because everything is — with all the mandibles and the eyebrows and the eyes moving around. … The only thing I could see was the bottom of the jaw, when I roared, it would open. So then my vision would get smaller, and then it would go back. But other than that, no, I was… I mean, I looked through those two slits in the neck the whole time and uh, thank goodness for Rich Cowan who guided me through this by laying sticks on the ground, essentially.

That’s how they helped Dane DiLiegro choreography his movements as the Predator in Prey. They put sticks on the ground to map out his steps, and he’d look down at the floor to know where to go. Which is insane, if you go back and watch the action scenes Dan Trachtenberg has his cast go through, including the Predator as he battles Amber Midthunder’s warrior, Naru. You can see a lot of this in the trailers that were released, Still, just getting the chance to play the Predator motivated DiLiegro, as he went on to tell us: 

There definitely were some interesting and exciting challenges that came with the physical side of wearing this suit, with the head and everything. But when you're under the rubber and you look down and you see his 15, you know, 16 pack, and those dreads, man… And we shlooped the slime all over the dreads every time. And you’ve got the first A.D., Rich (Cowan), he's counting down and I'm getting into it. And I just see the dreads hanging there and I hear the animatics turn on. I'm like, ‘Man, it's game time. This is real.’

It sounds like it was worth it. Audiences have been singing the movie’s praises, in no small part due to Midthunder’s performance. She told us about the moment she knew she got the role in the audition, and opened up even more about her process in the Comic-Con interviews in our suite. Prey really is one of the best Hulu movies available at the moment, but if you don’t have the streaming service and want to go to a theater instead, scan our list of 2022 theatrical movie releases and plan your trip now.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.