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How The Canine Performer In Prey Completely Differs From Her On-Screen Character - Exclusive

A Yautja, the extraterrestrial hunters of the "Predator" franchise, has landed hundreds of years ago in the heart of Comanche territory. Its mission? To find and kill the strongest predators in the area. The only thing standing in its way is the local tribe of Comanche warriors, most notably Naru, a young woman looking to be recognized for her hunting prowess, and her older brother, Taabe. 

That's the premise of the fifth film in the "Predator" franchise, "Prey," except it leaves out one important character: Naru has a loyal, adorable hunting dog, Sarii, who helps her conquer this extraterrestrial danger. It's an exciting sci-fi-action-horror film with strong action sequences, well-written characters, beautiful cinematography, and a lovely, loyal movie pooch. 

There's one hilarious key element, however, that dog lovers everywhere wouldn't know from watching the film: While Sarii is well trained and loyal, canine performer Coco is a bit of a handful. In an exclusive interview with Looper, star Amber Midthunder revealed some facts about Coco that may surprise you.

Meet Coco, the new movie star with the world in her paws

In "Prey," loyal Sarii is a very good girl (to use internet parlance). She obeys commands, distracts bears, fetches weapons, and does her part to fight off extraterrestrial menaces. In our interview, however, Amber Midthunder detailed that the performer pup, Coco, doesn't always resemble her character. Working with Coco was "chaotic" because she wasn't a seasoned movie dog. Midthunder explained, "She was so high energy, and she's not been trained as a movie dog. She literally got adopted to do this movie."

The reason they cast an unknown movie dog? Accuracy. "They found her to be the most accurate to the region and the time period," Midthunder said, "so that was why they got her and trained her just to do this movie." It's wonderful that Coco was adopted for the film and given a thriving new career as a movie dog — and that an up-and-coming pup with movie star dreams can still make it in the industry. 

But Coco's lack of experience did prove challenging. Midthunder shared, "Everything that you see turned out beautifully ... but I can tell you the days with her around were not like that." She clarified that days with Coco were indeed "very fun, and I love her, she's so cute," but despite the performance of a well-behaved pup, Sarii and Coco "are two very different dogs."

While it's a bit disappointing to learn that our new favorite movie pooch was a little difficult to work with, hopefully, this newfound stardom can get her more time with a trainer. Still, a good adoption story is heartwarming, and it's another great example of the film's commitment to accuracy, choosing a breed for its truth to real-life Comanche history rather than just using another breed.

"Prey" is available to watch on Hulu.