A 24-year-old member from the Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation in northern Saskatchewan is receiving the limelight after starring in the prequel to the Predator movie franchise.
Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat stars as character Itsee in the science fiction action film called Prey, which is the fifth installment of the Predator series. It was a moment of disbelief when Kytwayhat learned that he was auditioning for the franchise.
“We all just thought like, ‘Oh, it’s just another period piece about Indigenous people,” he said. “It was actually like a day or two before I went to L.A. is when my (management) team told me, ‘Harlan, don’t be surprised, but we’re pretty sure this is the fifth Predator film you’re going to audition for.’ My mind just exploded … I (tried) to maintain my calmness. (It) was a big deal.”
The film was released on Disney Plus on Aug. 5, 2022. When the film was first streamed, Kytwayhat felt the hype surrounding the movie and his role in it.
“I actually stayed up until 3 a.m. to wait for the film to release (and) I watched it,” he said. “When I (woke) up, Instagram and Reddit, a lot of people were just like saying, ‘Oh, my God … no way, this is crazy.’ I still love going back and reading those comments and just thinking like ‘these are like fans in a sense (who) are really just supporting … I’m still loving every second of it.”
To prepare for the film, Kytwayhat brought his archery skills to the table prior to filming. He and the film crew trained a whole month in bootcamp where they ran scenarios, worked out and learned to do the Comanche archery shoot.
Kytwayhat grew up in the town of Meadow Lake, which is half an hour from his home community of Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation. He was discovered while he was working at his community’s golf club.
“Someone who just happened to work in the film and TV industry came in for lunch and I guess I sparked something up that clicked in their head,” he said. “They came and chatted to me after their meal. And here I am four years later.”
Kytwayhat also starred in the TV series Shoresy and Tribal. He is currently working on another film called Warrior Strong. He plans to return to Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation after filming and continue auditioning for films down the road.