Rachel Weisz is a hell of a lot tougher than she seems. On a recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show, she talked about her new period romance-thriller My Cousin Rachel (starring opposite Sam Claflin), and yes, she did her own horseback riding for the film. The stallion was trained on the Game of Thrones set, and is apparently very adept at "dying."
"I don't want to make it sound dangerous, but it was really dangerous," she said about the thoroughbred stallions trained by Camilla Naprous for the Devil's Horsemen. When its left reins are pulled, it collapses onto one side as though it is being shot. Rachel just happened to be on the stallion's left side and accidentally pulled its reins, and the horse collapsed on top of her. Um, terrifying! "The entire set went silent," she said, until everyone realised she was okay, adding that "it wasn't painful."
She also giggled her way through a story about ungelded stallions — that is, stallions that have not been castrated. Apparently, the scent of other horses causes them to have "really enormous erections, which in a 19th-century film just isn't appropriate." Rachel Weisz didn't even attempt to keep a straight face while she described how Naprous made the horses, uh, less excited. "She puts Vicks...in their nostrils, so they can't smell anything."
When that fails, "she just kicks it," it being the horse boner. Weisz has always seemed like a very serious actor, but watching her crack up over horny stallions shows us just how endearing she is. My Cousin Rachel is out in theaters now, for all of your Victorian-era intrigue needs.