‘New Mutants’: Actor Blu Hunt Revealed How Danielle Moonstar Helped Define Her Indigenous and Queer Identity
Discovering your identity can prove one of the toughest challenges in life. Identity has become even more important as more Americans celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day over Columbus Day. In HBO Max’s New Mutants, actor Blu Hunt admitted that playing the Queer and Indigenous Danielle Moonstar helped define her identity.
How the Indigenous hero helped define a real-life identity
While the definition of ‘Indigenous’ peoples is a group native to an area before settlers, the actual ethnic identity can be trickier to navigate.
Hunt could barely contain her excitement for the role. As one of the most popular Indigenous heroes in comics, Dani Moonstar helped define other Indigenous superheroes.
“Playing Dani really made me realize who I was in so many ways. That was honestly the best part about getting this role,” Hunt told PEOPLE. “Knowing that I got to be Queer and that I got to represent the Indigenous community.”
And she knew what Dani represented to many fans. However, as she worked more with the character, she found what she meant to her personally.
“I was like, ‘Why do I relate to Dani so much?’” Hunt said. “‘Oh, maybe I’m just super Queer.’ I started going to the reservation more and… It’s really cool when you can work on something that changes your life in so many different ways.”
Hunt thinks it’s important for Queer and Indigenous people to define the roles
The CW Originals actor holds strong beliefs about representation in Hollywood. She talked a bit about how she believes that Indigenous actors should define Indigenous roles.
“I think it’s really important that people who are actually Queer, people who are actually of the same race, are playing those characters, especially in movies like [New Mutants],” she said.
Some studios received backlash in the past over ‘whitewashing’ films, such as in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender or 2016’s Gods of Egypt. Hunt pushes against this in her comments, wanting more positive representation from actual minorities.
She wears her Indigenous heritage and LGBTQ heritage proudly as she moves up in the movie industry. Dani Moonstar in New Mutants marks her first role in a full-length film, a massive accomplishment for any actor.
“I truly have had an experience that nobody else has ever had in the film industry,” Hunt told PEOPLE. “Not only did I get the lead role in a big Marvel film as my very first project, pretty much ever, but then it got pushed for years, and that it came out during the pandemic.”
Even though her first major project saw long delays, she kept a positive attitude. As the character helped define her Indigenous and Queer identity, she could not wait for others to experience Dani, too.
“It’s almost the story of the movie finally coming out is more interesting than anything.”
Hunt sets her eyes on writing and directing more representational films
The CW actor found herself writing a lot more during quarantine. However, she wants more than a writer or actor.
“My goal in life is to be a director,” Hunt said. “I think when I was younger, when I decided I wanted to be an actress… because of where I grew up, I truly didn’t think that women could be directors. Seriously, I had no idea.”
French director Agnes Varda inspired Hunt to pursue her dream of becoming a director. And Hunt wants to focus on helping define Indigenous peoples in cinema even more.
“I saw my first Agnes Varda film, and I was like, ‘Whoa, women make movies about women? That’s so cool.’ I really want to be a director and a writer, and I want to make projects for Indigenous roles and for Queer roles. That’s what I feel passionate about,” Hunt told PEOPLE.
With the X-Men spinoff New Mutants on HBO Max, Hunt has high ambitions for the future.