Actor Viggo Mortensen was blown away by the acting skills of one of his co-stars in upcoming movie HIDAGLO - even though it is a horse.

In the film, set in 1890, Mortensen plays a Pony Express courier who travels to Saudi Arabia to compete with his horse, HIDALGO, in a dangerous race for a massive contest prize.

And the four-legged star has left a lasting impression on horse-lover Mortensen, who says, "This little horse he had so much personality and uncanny ways. He really seemed to have opinions about things. It was really odd; at first it seemed coincidence and then it kept happening.

"He's always gonna do something. He's absent-minded in rehearsals and then as soon as you say 'action' all of a sudden he acts jealous or tired or annoyed or possessive. It seemed to always be right. I don't have a real explanation for it.

"It happened too much to be chance; because it's not MR ED and it's not a cartoon or animatronics and we're not putting human qualities on the animal. It's the horse being a horse and it's either gonna be really interesting or so-so and you're gonna have to fake the rest.

"It happened to be really interesting. The horse actually is his own character and had his own personality in the movie."

01/03/2004 05:44