Preying on Predator

‘The more bloody spines being ripped out, the better’ — Olivia Munn on Friday film The Predator

  • Published 13.09.18
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The Predator, that releases this Friday, sees writer-director Shane Black returning to a world he first experienced as an actor in the 1987 film Predator. In this new film, he’s expanding and exploring the story of the alien hunters and the human beings that must face the threat. With the government attempting to cover up the extent of predator incursions on earth, a rag-tag group of military veterans must figure out what is going on and how to save the world as the battle spreads from the depths of outer space to once-safe suburbia.

Olivia Munn plays  scientist Casey Bracket, dragged into an adventure she might not be quite ready for, but will bring all of her skills to help with. Here, Munn talks getting the part, her own history with Predator movies and the number of spines being ripped out in the film!

Who is Casey Bracket in The Predator?

She’s an evolutionary scientist and biologist. My character has been brought in by the CIA because of her expertise in evolutionary biology to get a better understanding of what has been found. She’s only called if there is a higher life that’s found, and here there is definitely some alien activity.

How did you get involved?

I had heard about it before from my reps. But I wasn’t interested because typically in a big movie like this, I’ll probably go see it, but as an actress, the female role is usually delegated to just being the love interest. But, it ended coming back around, and they said that Shane just wanted to meet.  I’m a huge fan of his work and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of my all-time favourite movies, so I wanted to meet with him. I read the script and then had another meeting with Shane about some of my thoughts, and he was really receptive to it.

Casey definitely doesn’t come across as a damsel in distress!

When you’re fighting for your life, you have to shoot, even though nobody wants to be in a position where they have to fight for their life. The guys — they’re soldiers — but I approached this character as a scientist. Making this movie was not about us finding moments for her to not be a damsel in distress. It just wasn’t on the page; it’s not what we were doing.

Was there much training for the role?

She’s not a trained athlete, but she’s healthy and physical. We did a lot of gun training and that was fun. I loved being able to do that with the guys, learning how to shoot together. I tried to incorporate what my character would do and put a little bit of shakiness into it. This is something that she’s waited her entire life for — especially as an evolutionary scientist, somebody who studies how creatures evolve and change. And yet this is happening right before her eyes, so, there is a shock and awe value that’s happening. While everyone else is running away from the Predator, she’s running towards the aliens, because she’s fascinated.

Does working on real locations help your performance?

It’s very intimidating and visceral. And it really puts you in that space. But that being said, there’s still so much stuff that is put in during post (production) with CG and the VFX and everything that really amps it up for the audiences. We get enough that we can allow our performances to be even more real. A movie like this really takes advantage of how great technology is and where we’ve come from, and what we can do with it and how realistic things are. Especially when it comes to the blood and guts and the destruction and death.

Shane has said it won’t shy away from violence…

I’m really big on it. I think we’ve got so PC (politically correct) that we lose the fun of going to the movies sometimes. For me, the more bloody spines being ripped out, the better!

How old were you when you first saw the original Predator?

I knew of it and maybe I knew some of the catchphrases and lines, but I never saw it until I signed up for this movie. What’s really great about this movie is that while it’s technically a sequel, it’s not picking up right where the other movies left off. But at the same time, it’s acknowledging all the previous ones and it’s not pretending like they didn’t happen. I kept saying to Shane, ‘Can we not have a scene where someone has to hide in the mud? Can I go hide in the mud?’ Because that’s a genius way to not be discovered by aliens!

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