Movies - TV
Predator's Cast Wasn't Faking Their Military Bona Fides
By J. GABRIEL WARE
A rescue mission in Central America goes wrong for an elite team of military commandos as they become the prey to a highly advanced alien hunter in the 1987 action-horror classic “Predator.” As these commandos try to turn the tables on their extra-terrestrial stalker, the audience is treated to intense moments of silence where the men communicate and coordinate with hand signals.
Scenes like these owe their realism to casting director Jackie Burch, who explained, “I remember when I first read the script that I thought, 'I wanna get all Vietnam vets in this movie — that could act.’” Fortunately, several actors with the military experience she desired were available, like Jesse Ventura (Blain Cooper), a retired wrestling legend and ex-Navy Seal looking to transition into acting.
Burch found other actors with prior military experience, such as Richard Chaves (Jorge "Poncho" Ramírez) and even Arnold Schwarzenegger (Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer), who served in the Austrian National Army. Veteran or not, the cast went through intense training to prepare for their roles and give convincing performances in this classic that’s considered one of the greatest ‘80s action movies.