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Prey’s Mud Scenes Sound Like A Nightmare To Film (Even For The Predator)

Prey's Amber Midthunder in the mud
(Image credit: 20th Century)

The critical reviews of Hulu’s Prey were incredibly positive about Predator’s spiritual predecessor. However, that doesn’t mean that the making of this movie was the most comfortable experience overall. Apparently the mud scenes for the sci-fi action movie were a real nightmare to film, including for the Predator.

Defeating the Predator is no easy task, as the Comanche nation needed to use their skills and luck, as well as fight through lots of mud. In an episode of The Big Picture podcast (via The Ringer), director Dan Trachtenberg spoke about how the mud was a challenging feat for the actors on set, saying:

It was so hard. We looked a lot at Neverending Story, which shot on giant sound stages that we did not have. We dug a ditch and built a mud pit in nature. I will say the interesting thing is that, you wouldn’t know it was there when we show up in the morning to shoot, you know just walking around, but as soon as a person entered it, as soon as human flesh interacted with whatever was in there, the most horrible stench you could ever smell erupted from it. I don’t know what that chemical interaction was but it was disgusting. And a number of actors had to go- we had doubles that had to go in there, stunt performers, Amber [Midthunder], others.

One of the actors who had to go through this grueling process was Dane DiLiegro, who played the Predator. Other than having to wrestle through some mud, the 6'9'' former athlete had to lose 25 pounds for Prey to play this character, as the filmmakers wanted someone with a leaner build compared to muscular. DiLiegro also trained in martial arts for two months and worked with a company called Iron Neck to train his neck for an insane Prey costume that involved 13 pounds of the Predator’s head to sit on his neck. All that is on top of the stunt and motion capture work he had to do. Talk about dedication to your craft.

Of course, if you’re filming scenes in mud, you’re gonna get dirty. Dan Trachtenberg also talked about another challenge that came from Prey's mud scenes the timing of the scenes for when the cast would look dirty and clean. He explained:

The other trick of it is, once you go in, you can’t be clean again for a while. So we actually shot it over the course of a week of shooting, or 5 days, where we would do like all the entrances. She gets clean, we regroup, and then we shoot some night stuff in that scenario, around that set. And then the next day we come back and we would do all of her leaving. You know we would just have to do it over the course of the day because once you’re in, that’s it, and then you don’t want to spend too much time in there anyway.

Another important cast member who did a lot of physical work during the movie was Prey star Amber Midthunder. The audition moment that landed Midthunder the role was going through a physical obstacle course, as she told a story through her movements. With all of the preparation she went through for the role, it’s no wonder she thinks she can beat Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Predator character

Having to wrestle through the strenuous mud and all of the other physical challenges that came from Prey shows that these actors and crew members had their work cut out for them. If you want to see for yourself how these excruciating mud scenes looked in the final cut, you can watch Prey with your Hulu subscription.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.