Actress Emma Watson has revealed that she learnt to ride for her role as Princess Kelsea Glynn in her upcoming film Queen Of The Tearling.
She told This Morning: “That was pretty intense. I had to not just sort of, like, walk around on it, I had to really, like, gallop. I had two months. They would normally say it would take six months to learn to be a confident horse rider so, you know, it was a quick process, but I actually really enjoyed it.”
Here are five more actors who learned to ride for a role:
1. Aiden Turner
In the smash hit BBC TV show Poldark, hunk du jour Aiden Turner spends a lot of his time galloping along the Cornish cliffs on his horse. (And with his shirt off. Just saying.) He told the producers when he auditioned that he’d learnt to ride for The Hobbit, only admitting two weeks before filming began that he’d lied to get the role! He was packed off to a riding boot camp in Yorkshire – and unlike some actors (Greg Wise in Sense & Sensibility, we’re looking at you) Turner manages to look pretty convincing on a horse. Well, probably. The shirt-off stuff is a bit of a distraction.
2. Kristen Stewart
Kristen Steward had to get over a lifelong fear of horse-riding for 2011 film Snow White and The Huntsmen, a version of the fairytale that sees the usually sappy Snow White character (played by Stewart) become a bad-ass warrior and horsewoman. Stewart reportedly suffered a “bad horse-riding accident” as a child that left her terrified of getting on board, and although she managed to broadly overcome this, confessed afterwards that, “I would rather hang out and watch them sort of like prance round a pasture. They’re beautiful and I don’t like telling them what to do!”
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3. Tatum O’Neal
In the classic 1978 film International Velvet, 14-year old Tatum O’Neal plays Sarah Brown, a young American girl who moves to England, starts eventing and helps steer the British Olympic equestrian team to victory. Trainer Marcia Williams was hired to teach her to ride for the film, and although she’d never ridden before, O’Neal turned out to be something of a prodigy. “She was doing in one month what many new riders take four or five months to learn. If she wanted to take up riding seriously, she could become outstanding,” Marcia remarked.
4. Oded Fehr
Israeli actor Oded Fehr plays the mysterious Ardeth Bay who spends most of the The Mummy and The Mummy 2 galloping about in the Sahara desert, trying to protect the world from evil curses. However, he couldn’t actually ride in the first film. Embarrassed by his fake stunt horse, he decided to take up riding with a vengeance, and did all his own stunts in the second film.
5. Zac Efron
Zac Efron had never been on a horse before he was cast in The Derby Stallion, playing a 15-year old boy who beats the odds to ride an injured racehorse to victory. Described as the “best worst horse movie ever,” where the boy’s mysterious bond with his horse overcomes a lack of basic training to catapult him to success, strangely the film went straight to DVD. Zac went on to find huge success — and become every little girl’s dream crush — in High School Musical.