It’s been a tense few years for Toni Collette (on screen that is) with a number of gripping projects to sink her acting chops into. The Oscar-nominated actress recently played a concerned ship commander on Stowaway, a lifestyle guru in Rian Johnson’s whodunnit Knives Out and a grieving mother in Hereditary. But her latest project is Dream Horse, a feel-good film about a Welsh store clerk and bartender who decides to breed her own horse into race shape.
Dream Horse is based on a true story about Jan Vokes and her horse Dream Alliance, as she raises money with the help of her community to compete in the horse racing big leagues. Throughout the film, Toni Collette brings real heart to the role in these intimate moments between her and Dream, with whom she seems to have had a deep connection. CinemaBlend sat down with Toni Collette to talk about how she found her own experience with the horses on set, and she said this:
So easy. I mean they are the most beautiful, perceptive sensitive creatures. There were several horses playing Dream Alliance, which is the main character in the film, but there was one horse I did all my acting with and his name is Bo and he was particularly gorgeous and I really did feel a profound connection with him. And it wasn’t in my mind, the whole crew could see he really listened, and they all liked his energy. He could feel what I was saying to him, if not understand it directly and it was a true bond that developed. He knew me.
Dream Horse sees Jan Vokes taking on a completely new undertaking by breeding her own horse with the support of her town in South Wales. It comes from a place of passion and true love for animals, while also taking care of her elderly parents and husband Brian (played by Brian Teale). When Damian Lewis’ club patron, Howard Davies, comes along, Vokes becomes inspired to breed Dream and he goes on to become a champion.
Working with animals isn’t always a walk in the park behind the scenes, but as Toni Collette shared with us during our interview, she was absolutely taken with one horse in particular named Bo, and they formed a special bond that is still close to her heart. The actress continued with these words:
I remember at one point we had to pose for what could potentially be posters or whatever and so Owen [Teale] and Damian [Lewis] had to stand with him as well and [the horse] would always get them out of the way and stand next to me, it was always a nice feeling.
Bo definitely sounds like he had a preference toward Toni Collette on set, and the movie itself really showcases this ‘profound’ bond the actress recalled while speaking about her work on Dream Horse. On top of her close work with horses, the Australian actress also sought out to perfect the very specific Welsh accent for the role and portray a real-life person.
Dream Horse is coming to theaters this Friday, May 21. Check out what other films are coming out this summer with CinemaBlend’s 2021 movie release schedule.