He played basketball for teams in Italy and Israel
Fans have been shocked to learn that the actor who plays the feral predator in Disney+ release Prey is actually a 6ft 8″ former basketball star who has starred in some of streaming’s biggest titles.
Before making the jump to acting, Dane DiLiegro worked as a professional basketball player for teams in both Italy and Israel. While visiting his family in Boston, and after a gentle kick from his mum, DiLiegro responded to an advert calling for actors. Sadly, he didn’t get the part.
As he explained to the New York Times, two years later, the casting company were looking for a muscular stand-in and so gave him a call.
“I ended up just standing around the set all day, talking to the stunt coordinator,” he said. Luckily, the stuntman he was talking to had a few ideas about DiLiegro’s potential future career path.
“Dude, you need to be in monster movies,” he explained.
Now residing in West Hollywood, DiLiegro has capitalised on his height to star in a number of highly rated horror flicks and series, including Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story and Netflix’s Sweet Home. You might remember him as the jacked demon Ba’al in spin-off show American Horror Stories.
DiLiegro’s latest venture saw him portray an early version of a predator whose hunting grounds are the American plains in the 17th century. DiLiegro stars alongside indigenous actress Amber Midthunder, who fans have applauded for her stellar performance, and Dakota Beavers.
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“I was told to bring a balletic svelte-ness to this creature,” he said. “The No. 1 word the director used was ‘feral.'”
However this is only the start for the former athlete, who now spends his spare time studying monster masters like Doug Jones, who has starred in everything from Pan’s Labyrinth to his latest venture onboard a starship in Star Trek: Discovery.
“People don’t realise,” he said. “There’s a lot of nuance that goes into playing a monster. With each movement, your body is telling a story.”
Still, he’d quite like to play a human sometime in the future too.
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