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I bought the two horses I rode in Lord of the Rings. I bought the one in Lord of the Rings ’cause I had – even though I wasn’t with him all the time, I just developed a real good friendship with him. His name is Uraeus. He kind of came into the movie similar to the way I did. You know, didn’t have much preparation and was just thrown in and had to swim, basically. And it was rough on him and it took awhile for us to kind of get in sync and for him to be comfortable around the set. So we got to be close and I wanted to stay in touch with him. And, you know, by the end he became almost a real ham. He became so good at it that he was just relaxed and happy. He had been a performing horse, but an equestrian competition horse. So the cameras, lights, and some of the things we had to do…and also the gear.  I mean the saddle and chainmail and all that stuff, the battles. So we got through it together and became friends. That was that story.

“We are fortunate to be living in an age of Great Actresses, if that phrase is still permitted. Of so many, I particularly admire those women who are as thrilling on stage as they are on screen. We have a home-grown bevy of such goddesses of course but tonight’s recipient of the Fellowship hails from across the world, whence she has conquered the film world with a series of wondrous, indelible performances. It’s not easy to define Cate’s particular ability, her effortless gliding from classic regality to the modern everyday, from the ethereal to the hilarious. Backstage, off-screen, I cherish her intelligence, her diligence,her wit and professionalism - and her friendship.- Ian McKellen presents Cate Blanchett BFI Fellowship award