There’s really nothing like a good old-fashioned mini-series to get some famous actors on horseback, and apparently to make them fall in love with the riding lifestyle as well. This Memorial Day, the History Channel will premiere “Texas Rising,” a 10-hour event series that details the Texas Revolution and the rise of the Texas Rangers. As characters Billy Anderson and Lorca respectively, Brendan Fraser and Ray Liotta have really caught the riding bug!
In a recent interview with the L.A. Times, series producer Leslie Greif said Liotta “committed to riding every day. He wanted to be fluent and natural on that horse, wanted to feel like he was a warrior.” This was necessary for the character of Lorca, who is a ragged Alamo survivor out for revenge after his family is murdered by Mexican general Santa Ana’s troops. But, soon enough the actor was obsessed with riding in real life!
“I wanted to do as much as I could in terms of stunts and riding,” Liotta told the L.A. Times. “They set all the actors up with this ranch with this guy who is a stunt guy but also a rodeo guy. When I started, I just couldn’t stop. I just loved it. I would go four or five times a week, relentlessly, for hours. At this age, I finally have a hobby. I still go to this guy’s ranch and sort cattle.”
Meanwhile, Brendan Fraser simply became so bonded to his horse that he couldn’t give him up. Playing Billy Anderson, a composite character who joins the Texas Rangers, Fraser must ride like a Comanche, though he was born to settlers, and serves as an important link between the two cultures.
“He was my acting partner,” said Fraser or his horse named Pecas, and “I want to do well by him, too.” Pecas has now found a permanent home with the Fraser family. The addition is especially important to the eldest of Fraser’s three boys who has special needs.
“He sang as a little kid when he was very small,” said Fraser. “I hadn’t heard him do that in a very long time.” But once aboard Pecas, the singing has returned.
To see Fraser, Liotta, and many more mount up this Memorial Day, check out the premiere of “Texas Rising” tonight on the History Channel.