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Nicolas Cage Thought a Horse Named Rain Man Wanted to Kill Him on Set of New Western

"I always had great experiences with horses, but Rain Man wanted to kill me."

American actor Nicolas Cage attends the opening ceremony of the first Hainan International Film Festival in Sanya city, south China's Hainan province, 11 December 2018. The first Hainan International Film Festival officially opened Tuesday night in the tropical coastal city of Sanya in the country's southern-most island province of Hainan. The film festival is one of Hainan's first series of projects in building itself into a pilot free trade zone and a free trade port. With Chinese movie star Jackie Chan as the promotional ambassador, the festival is attended by nearly 100 actors, actresses, and directors from home and abroad, including Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage from the United States, two-time Cannes winner Isabelle Huppert from France, and Aamir Khan from India. Cage said Hainan is a good place to shoot films and hoped to work with Chinese counterparts to shoot movies in China, particularly in Hainan.  (Imaginechina via AP Images)

Nicolas Cage

Niu bo - Imaginechina

The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Actors Roundtable is, this year, full of fascinating bits. Especially with Nicolas Cage at the table, joined by the likes of Andrew Garfield, Simon Rex, Jonathan Majors, and Peter Dinklage.

One such anecdote came from Cage himself, who talked about working with an especially moody horse named Rain Man on the set of his upcoming Western, “Butcher’s Crossing.”

The story came up as Majors (“The Harder They Fall”) and Nicolas Cage (“Pig”) swapped stories about their experiences with animals working on movie sets.

“At least you had a nice horse,” Cage told Majors, who worked with horses on the Netflix Western. “My horse on ‘Butcher’s Crossing,’ named Rain Man, wanted to kill me.”

“Rain Man? Where’d you shoot that?” Majors asked.

“Montana,” Cage said. “I was in Blackfoot Country. Rain Man kept trying to knock me off and would try to run my head into roofs, and then I’d get off and try to be nice to him, and he would headbutt me. It was not fun. I’ve always had good experiences with animals. I always had great experiences with horses, but Rain Man wanted to kill me.”

On “Butcher’s Crossing,” Cage worked with Gabe Polsky, director of the 2014 Soviet hockey doc “Red Army.”

“I’m so glad I got through that movie alive,” Cage said. “The director’s name was Gabe [Polsky]. The last shot, it was just like, ‘Gabe, I’m not getting on a horse again.’ Then one of the Native Americans said, ‘Oh, Nic’s just going to get off the horse. We’ll get on …’ ‘OK, fine. I’ll do it.’ So I got on the horse and literally, again, he kept trying to throw me off. I was like, ‘That’s it. That was my last shot, and you had to make it almost like a stunt. You did make it a stunt. You almost killed me on my last shot in the movie.’ As you can tell, I’ve got post-traumatic stress disorder from Rain Man.”

Cage, elsewhere in the roundtable, recalled begging his uncle Francis Ford Coppola to cast him in “The Godfather Part III” as Vincent Corleone, a role that ultimately went to Andy Garcia.

While he’s currently in the awards conversation for “Pig,” Cage will next be seen playing versions of himself in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.”

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