A few weeks ago HBO announced the cancellation of the show Luck before the first season had even finished airing. The show, an interwoven story line of multiple characters centering on a horse track in California, had a slow start but picked up drastically towards the end and could have really been a show to watch.
The reason it was cancelled was utterly baffling to me; it seemed too many horses were dying on set. Considering the show’s central theme was how all of the characters were made more human by their contact with horses, and that their love of these creatures were often their roads to salvation, I had to wonder what on earth was going on at that set.
Some light was shed on this question when I came across a tape from a hidden microphone capturing some pretty surprising things that were overheard on the set of Luck:
- “Now, in this moment Mister Hoffman’s character’s gruff exterior is stripped away while we close the scene out with him nuzzling the horse’s neck and the horse responds with gentle reciprocation. So somebody chain that fucking horse down so it can’t move.”
- “Hey, they really do taste like chicken!”
- “Okay, as they round the final turn I want to see that, you know, ‘Oomph,’ of speed and pure animal power.”
“Got it. At the final turn, release the tigers.”
- “Will you stop reenacting Ben-Hur and get the horses to set!”
- “Mister Nolte’s character had everything taken away from him when his horse was killed all those years ago for insurance money, his connection with that horse is integral to all of his scenes with that horse’s offspring, who he is currently training in an attempt at redeeming himself. That pain must be present, so before every one of his scenes I want a horse shot to death in front of Mister Nolte.”
- “Will you stop reenacting The Godfather and get the horses to set! No…no not the one without the head. Just throw him on the pile with the others.”
- “Here we have a synergy produced between Rosie and her horse as they cross the finish line, they must appear as one. Pretty sure our best bet is to lop off the horses legs, slap it on a table, and green-screen the racetrack background in later.”
- “I’m sorry, Mister Nolte, but your contract clearly limits you to three pints of horse blood per day.
- “Will you stop reenacting Braveheart and get the horses to oh fuck it.”
- “They eat what?!”