From the basketball court docket to the massive display screen, Lexington’s Dane DiLiegro is a beast

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After a decade-long hoops profession, DiLiegro has grow to be an in-demand “creature actor” in Hollywood.

Dane DiLiegro because the Predator in twentieth Century Studios’ “Prey.” Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Photographs; David Bukach/twentieth Century Studios

After a decade of taking part in skilled basketball, Lexington native Dane DiLiegro has grow to be a star in one other enviornment: Hollywood.

DiLiegro, 33, has launched into a second profession as a “creature actor,” a choose group of performers who deliver aliens, monsters, and different assorted beasts to life on the massive display screen.

After scoring roles on “The Strolling Lifeless,” “American Horror Tales,” and in a music video for rapper Doja Cat, DiLiegro landed the coveted position of taking part in the Predator in “Prey,” the most recent installment within the long-running movie franchise.

It’s been a fast ascension for the 6-foot-9 DiLiegro, who by no means took theater courses whereas attending Lexington Excessive, as a substitute focusing his efforts on hoops. Whereas he was a part of the rotation on LHS’s varsity squad, he was by no means the workforce’s major possibility. It wasn’t till he put within the work throughout a further 12 months at prep faculty that he scored a basketball scholarship on the College of New Hampshire. A four-year starter for the Wildcats, DiLiegro parlayed his success into an abroad hoops profession, principally in Italy.

Again in Massachusetts, between basketball seasons in 2019, DiLiegro was contacted by Boston Casting a couple of stand-in position in “Free Man,” the Ryan Reynolds action-comedy filmed within the Boston space.

The stunt coordinator on the movie talked about that DiLiegro may wish to contemplate creature performing, although DiLiegro stated his pitch was lower than convincing.

“He stated, ‘It’s uncomfortable. It’s sizzling. It’s claustrophobic. You may’t go to the lavatory,’” DiLiegro stated. “It’s heavy. You must be excessive endurance. However you get to be in huge motion pictures.”

Nonetheless, DiLiegro was instantly . Inside two weeks, he booked a task within the Netflix sequence “Candy House,” jetting off to Korea to movie his position as “Muscle Monster.”

“I believed, ‘I’ll do this out for 3 months, after which in all probability return to basketball,’” DiLiegro stated. “After which the pandemic hit.”

With worldwide journey an impossibility, DiLiegro as a substitute headed to Los Angeles, the place he has formally joined the ranks of what DiLiegro estimates are “round six” fellow creature actors often working in Hollywood as we speak.

In “Prey,” which debuts on Hulu Aug. 5, DiLiegro places his 6-foot-9, 245-pound body to good use, looking a bunch of Natives one after the other in pre-colonial America.

Set within the Comanche Nation in 1719, “Prey” follows Naru, a fierce younger lady who needs to show to her tribe that she’s a worthy hunter. Earlier than lengthy, she realizes that the prey she’s been stalking isn’t from this planet, and the hunter turns into the hunted.

As an expert athlete, DiLiegro has all the time been in fine condition. However the coaching routine for “Prey” was, by DiLiegro’s personal account, “transformative.”

“Prey” director Dan Trachtenberg wished DiLiegro’s Predator to be each “dynamic” and “feral,” main the actor to lose 25 kilos earlier than filming.

“I did two months of parkour coaching to learn to run and vault over bushes,” DiLiegro stated. “And I did a loopy quantity of martial arts coaching, preventing with sticks. My coach in Los Angeles is basically a ninja murderer in actual life, and he put me by means of the wringer.”

In comparison with the three to 4 hours DiLiegro needed to spend within the make-up chair for “American Horror Tales,” the prep time for stepping into the Predator costume was a brisk 11 minutes. However as soon as he was within the swimsuit, issues obtained tough.

“We’d shoot a scene the place I’m operating, and I’m sporting a 75-pound swimsuit and a 15-pound head,” DiLiegro stated. “You’re simply carrying a lot weight, and it’s so sizzling inside. Trying again, I can say it was enjoyable, and it was an incredible problem. However if you’re in it, man, it’s powerful.”

“Prey” wrapped filming in 2021, and DiLiegro has stored busy since then. He will likely be within the HBO Max sequence “Coyotl,” the Disney+ fantasy sequence “The Quest,” and the movie “Monsters of California,” directed by Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge. He additionally not too long ago accomplished a venture for Marvel and started work on a LucasFilm venture, particulars of that are at the moment beneath wraps.

With the ability to set up himself on this planet of creature performing so rapidly has been a blessing for DiLiegro. However the actor hopes he’ll in the future have the ability to give a efficiency the place he’s not buried beneath layers of make-up or tons of prosthetics.

“The dream is to do a venture the place you possibly can see my face,” DiLiegro stated. “I need individuals to get to know the man beneath the rubber.

“I like creature performing, however I don’t know that I can play monsters ceaselessly,” he continued. “It’s taxing on the physique. Enjoying a dentist, you don’t must do seven hours of make-up, you don’t must put on a 75-pound swimsuit. I’m not complaining about that, however it might be good to return in and do quarter-hour of make-up and put on a T-shirt.”

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