Actor Jeremy Irvine jumped at the chance to star in War Horse because the story mirrors his own family history - his great-grandfather kept a horse while serving in World War I.
Irvine was largely unknown when director Steven Spielberg picked the British star to play a young soldier trying to track down his beloved horse, Joey, who was sold to the cavalry, and the actor admits the project hit particularly close to home.
He tells New York Magazine, "Two of my great-grandfathers were in the war. The fact that I had relatives in the war is not extraordinary. What is extraordinary is that one of them had a horse!
"He kept a horse throughout the first World War, and at the end of the war, he bought it back off the army at an auction, and for nearly exactly the same amount that Albert does in the film! I've got the receipt. It's astonishing. What a coincidence!"