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Prey's Predator Actor Dane DiLiegro Originally Had A Very Different Role In The Film

By now it's no secret that Hulu's "Predator" prequel "Prey" was a huge hit for the streaming service. In fact, less than a week after the film debuted, it was announced that "Prey" set an all-time Hulu record, netting more views upon its release than any TV show or movie premiere in the streaming service's history.

While the success of "Prey" is thanks to a number of components, its cast is among its notable strengths. Opposite lead actor Amber Midthunder as the Comanche hunter Naru is Dane DiLiegro as the titular Predator. DiLiegro's version of the character is both somewhat familiar to existing fans of the franchise, and a new take on the iconic alien since that the film is set centuries prior to the original "Predator" film.

"Prey" viewers might recognize DiLiegro for past roles that similarly made use of his large stature, like that of Ba'al in the episode of "American Horror Stories" of the same name. Around the time of the "Prey" premiere, DiLiegro revealed that he's interested in playing Jason, the physically imposing "Friday the 13th" slasher, at some point down the line.

Given DiLiegro's history of appearing as large, monstrous characters, it's no surprise that he excelled as the Predator in "Prey." That said, he recently revealed in an interview that his original role in the film's production was markedly different.

Dane DiLiegro was originally just a part of a pitch for Prey

In an interview with ScreenRant, Predator actor Dane DiLiegro outlined the convoluted process through which he landed his "Prey" role. As it turns out, puppeteer Alec Gillis — who worked on a number of "Predator" films prior to "Prey" (via IMDb) — initially reached out to DiLiegro online simply to ask for the use of his likeness early on in the film's production.

"I don't know if you know, but Alec DM'd me on Instagram in January of 2021 to be the reference guy for a design pitch on a project that they were working on in Canada," DiLiegro said. "Fast-forward to now, I turned out to be the main antagonist of said project and it's been an incredible experience."

A profile of DiLiegro by the LA Times happens to mention that stunt coordinator Chris O'Hara characterized DiLiegro as one of a small number of Hollywood actors ideally suited to playing monsters, making his eventual casting unsurprising. For what it's worth, DiLiegro described such roles in that same profile as a worthwhile challenge. "Chris warned me that the work is cramped, unpleasant, you can't go to the bathroom and you struggle to move," he said. "But you're paid the SAG rate and you get to be in movies."

It's entirely possible, then, that DiLiegro's unexpected casting in "Prey" could lead to many other such roles as his career continues to develop.