December 17, 2012
Foxx feared for life riding bareback

Actors Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx are shown in a scene from director Quentin Tarantino's film Django Unchained. (Handout)

Actor Jamie Foxx feared for his life as he rode bareback in new western Django Unchained because he wasn't used to his horse galloping at high speed.

The Ray star, a keen equestrian, previously revealed he made director Quentin Tarantino find a role for his favourite steed Cheetah, and the animal appears as his vengeful slave character's own onscreen.

However, the actor wasn't too confident in riding the horse without a saddle - let alone at a fast pace - and he admits it was one of the scariest moments of his life.

He says, "I actually ride my own horse in the film ... My horse Cheetah is in the film and he had to learn all these tricks ...

"The only thing that was scary was riding bareback on the horse because the horse was used to the stunt person. They built this dirt track and I got on the back of the horse and there were people at the end with their sleeves rolled up ready to catch me (in case he fell off). But the horse turns, sees the truck with the camera on it and since he's used to the stuntperson, he goes 28 miles (45 kilometres) an hour and I'm on the back. On the outside I look like Django but on the inside I was like (rocker) Little Richard screaming, 'Lord Jesus please stop this horse!'"

Foxx had to relive the terror for a second time as Tarantino needed another take and he refused to take the advice of his stunt instructor, who told him to drop and roll if he felt like was about to fall off.


He explains, "This time the horse takes off again, only this time I'm on the side of the horse and the stunt guy Dash says, 'If you feel like you're gonna come off the horse, just let go of the son of a b**ch, just get off.' Those words are ringing in my head as I'm hanging off the side going 28 miles an hour thinking he's a damn fool!"

Foxx managed to keep his inner fears under wraps, and his efforts paid off - the daring shoot was one of Tarantino's favourites.

Likening the actor to the titular character in 1966 Spaghetti Western Navajo Joe, the filmmaker says, "That is one of my top three Django shots. You (Foxx) with a handful of mane and the rifle in the other hand. He doesn't even have the use of his hands. That was just Burt Reynolds' Navajo Joe in every way."