The actor who plays The Predator is gorgeous in real life

Those sharp mandibles. The tentacles like dreadlocks. No, The Predator isn't your friend.  

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, the original 1987 film introduced us to this ghastly extraterrestrial killing machine. Released on Sept. 14, 2018, Shane Black's The Predator — the fourth in the movie franchise, not counting the Alien vs. Predator novelties — presents a far sleeker version of the slithery species. This predator is stronger, fiercer, and hellbent on destroying planet Earth before we do. This time around, the lucky actor playing The Predator is Georgia native Brian Alexander Prince, who told Den of Geek that he wanted "the creature to look heavy, to look big, but also to be very mobile — kind of like a lion."

Prince is a man of many talents: an accomplished stuntman, parkour fanatic, and comic-book illustrator. He's also a total sweetheart, according to at least one famous actress. "Olivia Munn said to me, 'There's no way you can play The Predator — you're too nice,'" he told Den of Geek. Let's take a closer look at the modern-day Renaissance man hiding behind the mask. In reality, he's quite easy on the eyes. In fact, he's gorgeous.

​He's so friggin' tall

Brian A. Prince is a little tired with the jokes about his height. Every day, total strangers come up to him and gawk. There he'll be, innocently walking down the street, when some ogler crawls out of the woodwork armed with questions (i.e., "Oh, how tall are you?") Others try to be comedians, but they're hurting for material: "How's the weather up there?" they'll ask. "Play ball!"

These days, this tends to bother Prince's friends more than it bothers him. "You learn to live with it," he told GPB News in June 2018. "You learn to love it a bit."

You can't blame people for being curious: Prince is 6'9", after all. "I like to say 6'10" with, you know, most shoes," he told People of Parkour. When you're that tall, folks are bound to have questions. And if you're Brian A. Prince, one of those questions is likely to be: "How did you wind up playing a bloodthirsty extraterrestrial in a major Hollywood blockbuster?"

​He's a man of many talents

Brian A. Prince considers himself "really lucky." In May 2018, he told Den of Geek: "I was originally an art student in Atlanta, I draw comics and do illustrations and stuff." (He's extremely talented in that arena, by the way.) As of March 2018, he'd practiced parkour for ten years. For those who don't know, parkour is a modern method of physical training that involves "moving logically and creatively through a — typically — urban setting," (per Mpora.) According to his official website, Prince is currently "the world's tallest parkour practitioner."

He claims parkour has positively transformed his life in every way. It gave him confidence, increased his physical strength, and made him feel like he can "overcome anything." Parkour also opened the door to some plum gigs on major television shows and Hollywood productions, where Prince finds regular work as a stuntman.

In recent years, Georgia has become a flourishing production hub for major motion pictures. (According to CNBC, it was just behind California and New York in 2016.) Prince eventually made "a lot of friends in stunts that also did parkour." At their urging, he "put together a resume" with a "bad headshot." The gamble paid off, leading to his first gig as a stuntman.

Parkour also played a big part in nabbing Prince his role as The Predator. 

From parkour to Predator

Persistence is everything. 

In 2014, Brian A. Prince wrote to Zen Pencils, a website devoted to inspiring illustrators and cartoonists. He was distraught and looking for guidance. He was "REALLY burned out on art, and anything slightly challenging or creative." At the time, Prince was working as a typesetter proofreading announcements and invitations. He was worried he "wasn't doing ANYTHING" except saving money and felt he wasn't establishing "any long-term goals."

Fast forward to May 2018: Prince is gleefully telling Den of Geek how he came to be cast as The Predator. He created a video demonstrating his formidable parkour skills and sent the tape off to producers. Weeks later, he was on a plane to Los Angeles. For his audition, Prince mixed "hunting and primal elements" with "some kind of creature movement." The next day, he was cast in the role. 

He was in awe: "I was like, what? I was working minimum wage last year, and now I'm here!" 

​You've almost definitely seen him before

Working as a stunt performer on The Walking Dead sounds like a post-apocalyptic headache. Speaking to GPB News in June 2018, Brian A. Prince revealed that getting his face zombified for primetime "took twice as long" as putting on the entire Predator costume.

His stunt work on Black Panther was reportedly a much better experience. When Prince saw the first trailer in the theater, he thought, "Oh man, I wish I could have been in that." Fortuitously, he eventually received the phone call he'd been hoping for: "Can you audition for Black Panther reshoots tomorrow?" He could and he did, nailing the audition.

He worked on Black Panther for "about two weeks," playing a Jabari warrior in the explosive final battle sequence, but he can't even recognize himself onscreen. There's simply too many other stunt-people in the fray. "We're all dressed kind-of the same," he said. Fortunately, Prince loves the anonymity of a mask … and for good reason.

​He has a confession to make

Brian A. Prince has something to tell you. Although he portrays The Predator, he's not the world's most dedicated Predator obsessive. "[I'm] admittedly not the biggest fan," he told GPB News in May 2018. Still, he's quick to point out that he doesn't have "anything against it." 

"I always loved the character," he said, "but I couldn't say, 'Oh, I know everything about The Predator.'" On the upside, he does know all the best lines. If you come up to him and growl, "Get to the chopper!" he'll know what you're doing.

In 2017, Prince attended a 30th anniversary screening of the original Predator in Vancouver, surrounded by rabid fans. "I'm just sitting in the middle and no one knows that I'm the new guy in the suit," he laughs.

Prince clearly loves hiding in plain sight, and here's why: "Like I said … I already have people that come up to me every day and they're just like, 'Who do you play basketball for?' … I'm kinda cool with none of that."

Why he loves the Predator mask

In order to prepare for the role of The Predator, Brian A. Prince reportedly "trained for weeks in a wetsuit to acclimate himself to the constrictions of the wardrobe," according to Bloody Disgusting. He loved the reaction he'd get from crew members when he wore the costume. "It's like I'm a mascot at Disney World," he tells GPB News. 

It's a feeling he's gotten used to. As a Panel Coordinator at DragonCon and a director at MomoCon, Prince and his friends often joke that they're "convention famous." At these gleefully nerdy conventions, you could be a voice actor or comic-book artist or costume designer … but for that one weekend, everyone in the crowd knows who you are, wants your autograph, and would love to hang out with you. According to Prince, "convention fame" means that "when you go home, you can go to the grocery store and no one will bother you."

That said, Prince is just about ready to take his acting career to the next level, and he sounds eager to show his face to the world…

He's serious about pursuing acting

Brian A. Prince has only been a professional stuntman since 2015, but so far, he's managed to avoid any serious on-set injuries. "I think it's easy to get a little too hyped on things and then kind of throw yourself at something," he tells GPB News. Instead, Prince tries to be a bit more Zen in his approach: That moment on set when everything goes quiet and the cameras start rolling, Prince takes a deep breath and then lets it out. "I just put myself completely in my character," he says.

If this sounds suspiciously like someone who's taken an acting course or two, that's because Prince has been trying out improv classes at Dad's Garage, a theater company in Georgia. He loves stunt work but says he had moments in The Predator that could "be considered more acting-heavy, more emotional." He didn't expect that "spark" to happen, but it did. And now he wants to know what it's like "when you really sink yourself into a character and you just become that."

Sounds like someone's finally ready to take off the mask.

His Predator predecessor: Also handsome

Call it a tradition. Even in the original 1987 classic Predator, the man who played the squalid sci-fi slaughterer was secretly quite handsome. Described by The Telegraph as a "gentle giant," Kevin Peter Hall was 7'2" and exceedingly good-natured. However, his height wasn't always a blessing. In 1988, Hall told Ebony that he was "really physically insecure" as a child "because I stood out so much" (via The Telegraph.)

Hall's first role was playing a mutated grizzly bear in the 1979 film Prophecy. A week after Predator opened, Hall starred in another iconic titular role: He portrayed the unnervingly cuddly Sasquatch at the heart of 1987 oddity Harry and the Hendersons. Hall told Ebony he'd "played every single living creature you can possibly imagine" and "could be called the Robert Redford of the monster squad."

Tragically, Hall died of AIDS at the age of 35 in 1991, leaving behind his actress wife, Alaina Reed-Hall (best known as Olivia on Sesame Street,) and their two kids.

The Predator, unmasked

For Brian A. Prince, putting on the iconic Predator mask is "a lot of responsibility," and now that the film is out in the world, he clearly feels like he has quite a lot to live up to. "It is like the weirdest mix of exciting and nervous at the same time," he told My San Antonio. He seems determined to make the most out of the moment.

In an Instagram post from September 2018, Prince reflected on the four long, arduous months he spent swaddled in The Predator costume, writing that they "were the hardest, most fulfilling days I've ever experienced." 

Clearly, this is a man who's grateful for getting to play one of cinema's most recognizable baddies. He also has some advice for anyone who might be at a peculiar crossroads in their own lives: "Do what you're passionate about despite where you think it might lead you because you might just be surprised."