Prey star Amber Midthunder is of the opinion that any critic who found the latest Predator sequel to be “super-woke”, particularly those whose judgements have been clouded by pre-release expectations that its story would consist of Hollywood’s standard ideological browbeating, has “no idea what they’re talking about”.
The actress responded to this particular line of criticism against Prey during a recent interview with People given in retrospective of the media attention and critical reception the film had received in the roughly one-month since it debuted for streaming on Hulu.
Asked by associate editor for the outlet’s movie division Benjamin VanHoose for her thoughts on fan skepticism towards the idea that her character, the mid-sized-at-best comanche warrior Naru, could take on a hulking and technologically advanced Predator, Midthunder wrote the sentiment off as nothing more than the opinion of “haters”.
“People are always going to say stuff, but that’s just noise,” she told VanHoose. “Honestly, those people have no idea what they’re talking about.”
Midthunder then turned to explain, “first of all, I feel really proud of our movie and I think [director] Dan [Trachtenberg] is an incredible filmmaker. He has made something that people can eat their words over,” before asserting, “I think a lot of people thought our movie would be some super-woke, F-the-patriarchy kind of a story, and that’s not what it’s about at all.”
“It’s not a girl defying what men say she can and can’t do,” the actress explained. “ It’s literally an individual who feels called to something and the people who know her don’t think that is her calling. That is so much more personal and, I think, as the character, harder to deal with than anything.”
According to Midthunder, much of this criticism was based in the fact that “people don’t know a lot about native history. Period. So they don’t know what kind of warriors we were.”
“There are people who don’t even know that there are different tribes or languages,” she elaborated. “So already that’s coming from a place of ignorance. Then you look at it and you go, ‘Oh no, man. Comanche were really, really great warriors.’ They were known for being some of the fiercest warriors of all. And they did have female-warrior society, so there were women that fought and hunted.”
“So yeah, I think you look at that and you just [tell yourself], ‘Alright, whatever, people are always going to say stuff,’” she said. “I’m proud of what we did.”
To this end, added Midthunder, rather than espousing a woke message, she focused herself on making sure the film brought positive representation to the Comanche peoples.
“There’s never a moment that I’m not thinking about representation or just what that accomplishes,” detailed the actress. “Especially a movie like this, how it’s representing Indigenous people and what that might mean or how people might receive that or feel about being represented by it. To me, that was the most important part of making the movie.”
She then recalled, “Every single day I was coming to work, and what I would think about from when I woke up to when I went to bed was, ‘How is this representing Native people? How is this representing Comanche people?’ And I just really hoped that Indian Country would like it, because that to me was where it started — that was where I felt like it lives and dies, and then we can go from there.”
“To have kids come up to me or parents come up on behalf of their kids and be like, ‘They’re such a big fan,’ or, ‘She’s so inspired by your character,’ that’s something I could have never dreamed of,” she concluded. “And I just feel so emotional about it.”
Prey is now available for streaming on Hulu.