Unlike previous films DiLiegro has done creature work in, his role as the Predator in “Prey” required him not only put on muscle but also to be extremely agile. In order to channel the kind of balletic-svelteness Gillis wanted, he lost 25 pounds for the part. “They wanted a lean, dynamic, more animal Predator,” the actor explained. “You know you look at a feral cat; feral cats are not very plump. Traditionally I’m bigger, more muscular. I had to get away from that.”
In order to get lean DiLiegro did parkour training for two months (which he says wasn’t easy for someone his height to accomplish) as well as martial arts. This also aided him in nailing down the way a large creature like the Predator is able to move silently through its surroundings and brutally slaughter its prey. Throughout the film the alien kills its way up the food chain on Earth, defeating everything from quick predators like a wolf to much larger and deadlier ones like a grizzly bear — that is, until it’s outsmarted by Naru.
Another major area of focus during preparation was DiLiegro’s neck, which needed to be able to carry the weight of the 13-pound mechanical Predator head/mask he wore atop his costume. DiLiegro worked with a company called Iron Neck to ensure he’d be able to perform all the Predator’s movements while also lugging around the huge contraption. If anything, the actor’s experience is a reminder that achieving the kind of seamless practical effects seen in “Prey” often requires the performer inside the suit to endure serious discomfort.