Oscar-nominated actor Eddie Redmayne admits he lied about his horse-riding abilities to land a role.
British-born Redmayne gave an entertaining account on Conan O’Brien’s late-night television talk show of how his exaggeration caught him out.
The actor, who played theorectical physicist Stephen Hawking in the 2014 movie, The Theory of Everything, told O’Brien how he gave director Tom Hooper the impression he could ride a horse whille auditioning for a lead role in the mini-series, Elizabeth I.
“I left the audition and, as I was leaving, he [Hooper] said, ‘One last thing Eddie, have you ever been on a horse?’ And I said, ‘Yes!’ and I walked out. I had been on a horse when I was four and was mostly trying to get it to go!”
Just three weeks later, his chickens came home to roost in a major scene in front of Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons.
“We shot in Lithuania with this gigantic scene of this coup being staged and I was on a gigantic stallion with 40 Lithuanians’ horses stomping behind me.
Mirren and Irons, in full regalia, were at the end of the road on a balcony and Hooper was behind the camera.
“Spurs were being attached to my feet, and I’m thinking at one point, ‘Do I admit I can’t ride?’
“I was too embarrassed to admit it and he [Hooper] calls, ‘Action!’ And I gave the horse a gentle nudge and it went off 100 miles an hour.
“I almost killed myself … almost killed half of the crew.
“Tom Hooper comes from behind Helen Mirren with a huge loud speaker and goes, ‘You’re a f***ing liar, Redmayne’.”
Redmayne said he learned a lesson.
“I was always taught that whenever you’re in doubt at an audition, say yes. But I hadn’t been taught that if you say yes and it’s a lie make sure in the couple of weeks before filming you have elementary training; whatever it is!”
Redmayne was sent off to pick up some riding skills.
The episode clearly failed to sour his relationship with Hooper, whom he worked with again on the hit movie version of Les Misérables.
Hooper, he claims, deliberately put his character on a horse in one scene to get back at him for his horse-riding fib.