Today, the 25-year-old woman is an actress, and her first full-length film, “The New Mutants,” opened in theaters across America on Friday. In the new Marvel movie, Hunt plays Dani Moonstar, a young Cheyenne woman who is seeking to understand her powers while surrounded by young people like her. Directed by Josh Boone, the film is about four young mutants being held in an isolated hospital for psychiatric monitoring. Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga) struggles to teach them to rein in their mutant abilities, but when Moonstar is admitted into the hospital, strange occurrences begin to take place. The patients are plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks, and their abilities and friendships are tested as they fight to make it out alive. The storyline is taken from the Demon Bear saga featured in “The New Mutants” comic book and revolves around Moonstar confronting her demons, figuratively and literally, while the rest of the patients fight to survive and save Moonstar’s life.View this post on Instagram
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As her first film, her role in the “The New Mutants” required that she work every day of production. “I wish I had done other movies before I had done X-Men,” she said. She said she was able to relate to her character on a deep level, having struggled in her youth. Like Moonstar, she discovered that she had powers and eventually learned how to use them. Only her ability is acting and connecting to the characters she brings to life. “It’s weird because I feel like we are the same person,” she said of Moonstar. “Who Dani becomes at the end of the movie is who I feel like I am now.” Hunt said she hopes her role as a Native superhero might bring greater awareness to mainstream America that Indigenous people still exist and their stories shouldn’t be relegated to Westerns and historical films. “It’s not old times,” she said of “The New Mutants. “It’s modern. We’re here now. Reservations are here, and this is what they look like.” She said she’s hopeful those who see the film will seek to learn more about contemporary Native culture and issues. “I think they’re going to investigate and look into Native culture and Native way of life now,” Hunt said. And she hopes some young Native women might connect to Moonstar as she has. “There’s a dark side to Dani, but there’s a lot of hope and resilience in her,” Hunt said.