Meet Blu Hunt, the 25 year old American actress starring opposite Maisie Williams in New Mutants, the latest instalment of the X-Men film series based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name. We caught up with Blu to about her career, Dani Moonstar, and what it’s like to shoot a film in a real life hospital…
This movie (New Mutants, the latest and final X-Men film) is a big move for Blu with her telling us that “up until now, I had never been to the East Coast or out of the country even”. Blu expressed an interest in acting and filmmaking from a young age, and directed and starred in performances whilst at high school. Shortly after graduating, she landed her first big role as Inadu in CW horror-fantasy series The Originals. After some other TV roles (Stumptown, Another Life) Blu grabbed the leading role of Danielle Moonstar in the X-Men franchise movie New Mutants, directed by Josh Boone. She is also set to star in the film Fathers & Prophets, based on the Dave Eggers novel which is due to start production later this year.
New Mutants is largely set in a hospital where Dani Moonstar is a new patient and has come from a trauma, and has no idea what is going on, “She has literally, no clue, and I don’t even think she believes she is a mutant at all, Blu tells us. “I think when she has a vision with Dr. Reyes, it is the first time she realizes that there is something different about her. I think she knows that there has always been something different about her, but she doesn’t think she is a mutant”. She also tells us Dani’s life has been far from easy, “Dani has been probably suicidal since she was 12. Where she lives, it is not easy to grow up. In reality, there are more teen suicides on reservations than any other place in America. It’s really awful and she definitely represents that, she’s not had an easy life. And it’s something that Dr. Reyes picks up on when they meet. So even though she is at this new place and is genuinely scared, I play her as a girl who never backs down. Just because she is in this new place doesn’t mean she is going to be this scared little girl. Like when Illyana bullies her, I love that Dani is written to not let herself be bullied by anyone. So even though she is afraid and confused, she is still very strong. She constantly just puts it right back and I think that’s cool that there is no cliché there.”
We know this is *technically* a superhero movie, but don’t be put off if you think that superhero movies aren’t for you, “it’s a big hybrid of lots of different genres”, Blu explains. “It’s kind of like a superhero movie, but it’s also a horror film and a teen drama that reminds you of movies in the ‘80s. A lot of movies in the ‘80s were centered around teenagers going through things, whether they are horror movies or whatever”. Blu tells us, “I was talking to Josh the other day and he was saying the way the story is and how we are filming it, it’s an Indie film that just happens to have superpowers in it. I think it’s very emotional what they go through, so yeah this isn’t what you think a superhero film should be”. We’re super intrigued!
It was shot in a state hospital which Blu describes as “really creepy”. “I don’t believe in ghosts or anything, but 15,000 people died there. It’s crazy. It was really fun though. We actually spent a lot of time outside, and they painted the walls all pretty and I thought it was really cool. It’s cool and kind of retro, I liked it.” Rather than you than us! *shivers*
Blu did some serious comic prep before embarking on the role too! “It’s hard because comic books are written kind of silly sometimes, it’s like, I am angry right now! But I didn’t even know that the movie was going to be about the Demon Bear at first. I went and got the Demon Bear comic books because it was all about Dani, and I really loved it. Mostly, I just tried to draw from reality and not so much the comic. But just like in the comic Dani has little emblems from the reservation that she wears. And she’s really standoffish and outspoken and really strong, as she is written in the script”. Blu tells us *spoiler alert* that Demon Bear is actually Dani… plot twist!! “It’s not like in the comic books, I like it so much better in the movie, because the Demon Bear is her” Blu ‘fesses. “It’s kind of an astral projection of her emotions that she can’t control yet because she is just a teenage girl. It sounds like a metaphor for growing up really, and it’s like we have this spirit and we are totally out of control as teenagers and we don’t know that we are hurting other people. And then one day, you kind of learn how to tame that, and she does, and she goes up to the bear face to face and is like, calm down, stop.” This X-Men flick is deep!
New Mutants is released in the UAE on September 10th.