Equine Lovers, Haters and Eaters: The War Horse Premiere

  • A fleet of policemen (unmounted) were standing guard at Lincoln center early Sunday evening, holding hordes of fans in check. It was the War Hose world premiere, and no chances could be taken, naturally. With legions of photographers snapping shots of the celebrity entrances, the red carpet was more like a turnpike which saw the likes of Tinsley Mortimer, Ed Westwick and Elizabeth Olsen briskly pass through.

    Fans and photogs alike reached fever pitch when Mr. Spielberg waltzed onto the carpet with his young daughter, Destry. Posing for shots with the War Horse cast and talking at great length to various camera-crews, Mr. Spielberg soon disappeared into the crowd. (He did not deign to speak with lowly scribes.)

    The Observer spoke with several of the film’s stars who gladly shared their thoughts on horses, Spielberg, and the upcoming flick. Toby Kembell, who plays an officer in the film, swaggered down the carpet flashing an oversize bow tie. “It’s huge isn’t?” he said of his accessory. “It’s almost bigger than Jesus, but not quite.”

    Gathering that Mr. Kembell doesn’t consider much sacred, we decided to ask him about horse meat. The US lifted a ban on horse slaughter last week, and we were curious to know if he would ever consume an equine delicacy in light of his recent role. “I would never eat horse meat, unless it was the only meat that I could get a hold of to survive,” he said. We thanked him for his honesty.

    We asked Patrick Kennedy, another War Horse cast member the same question. “I’m a sentimentalist about horses. I don’t know if it’s a logical… point of view because I’m not a vegetarian, but no I couldn’t eat a horse,” he told The Observer. (Those Brits can be so analytical!)

    Emily Watson told The Observer that despite War Horse, she is nervous near the beasts. “No I’m a bit frightened around horses, to be honest,” she said. “They’re majestic amazing things, but I’m quite wary.” She told The Observer that her time in New York was limited and would be filled primarily with press and shopping. Our kind of woman indeed!

    Jeremy Irvine, who plays the film’s protagonist Albert Narracott, took a sentimental approach to the matter. “I kind of I treated the horse as Albert’s brother. I think that’s the relationship they have,” he said. “It’s this incredible innocence they have and that we don’t get nowadays. Everyone’s so exposed to the internet and television,” he mused. Good thing he’s so terribly handsome.


  1. Thank you for a great article and introducing us to the earthy Jeremy Irvine. Our commercialized world needs more men just like him.
     I can’t wait for War Horse to open. Will probably see it twice.
    And please consider the timely release of War Horse and the ongoing war against sociopathic opportunists who want to profit from horse slaughter as a time to educate yourself on horse slaughter. Read Forbes’ reporter Vickery Eckhoff’s recent articles. She identifies congress’ guilty profiteers and the inability to create humane horse slaughter, even with Dr. Grandin’s expertise.
    Also, consider mailing petitions as HR 2966 is moving toward the House floor. Horses as National Treasure with Stephanie M Sellers has petion, links to reps and links to many informative articles for us horse advocates and to educate ‘city slickers’.
    Enjoy, Oginalii

  2. Rvt Smt says:

    was hoping mr. speilberg would say a few words against horse slaughter.  would have helped save some horses . wish he could have put something in the beginning of the film awaring people of the fate of our beloved horses. some people don’t even know they could be eating horse meat, i am totally 100% against it, i know horses have meds in them that are not safe for human consumption.

  3. Royhobbscolorado says:

    I am so excited to see yet another great film by Steven Spielberg! There is absolutely a valid reason why great movies about great horses are made and watched again and again. The majority of Americans admire, respect and care for both the domestic and wild horses of our country due to their very nature. They are resilient, courageous, service oriented, love to please, strong, family oriented and have an amazing memory when it comes to their experiences with people and other animals. They helped to build this country through courage and sacrifice on the battlefield, plowing the fields for our crops, carrying our loads and taking us as far west as we could go! To this day we watch them in awe with our eyes glued to the TV during the summer Olympic Games for each equine event. We head down to our local fairgrounds when the tallest horses in the world come for a visit or when the Lippazzan stallions are in town to display their sense of timing, discipline and communication with their human partner. I hope everyone who see’s this movie wakes up to the terrible fate our domestic and wild horses are facing right now with the continued threat of slaughter and how once and for all we must hold breeders and pharmaceutical companies accountable for abusing another beautiful species and then throwing it away when they are done. DONATE to your local equine sanctuaries! Adopt a Wild Mustang or two! Support the Cloud Foundation! Support the Wild Horse Education Cause and Laura Leigh. And for goodness sake don’t breed your horse! :) 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Elise Knutson, thank you for posing the questions you did to the actors of this film.  I appreciate that you at least put consideration of the horse slaughter/horse meat issue into their minds- and in the minds of readers of your report.  

    Each of us who are concerned about this issue need to capitalize- right now- on the fact that the theme of this  film is the emotional relationship humans share with horses.  The momentum of this film creates an excellent opportunity to educate about and advocate for the permanent abolishing of equine slaughter of horses.  Let’s not let a single opportunity to bring this topic to the forefront.

  5. Barbara Ries says:

    A movie that brings out the Hero in all of us!!   Barbara Ellen Ries