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He says, "I had never ridden a horse before and had developed a general anxiety towards them.

"I knew the horse riding in the film was going to be hard because we were going to be riding along some very narrow ledges. I started training on a horse for about six weeks, three lessons a week."

The Billy Elliot star credits his trainer with putting him at ease around the horses and showing him the ropes, adding: "Two weeks after the first lesson, I was trick riding and had found a comfort and a delight at being around these animals. When you have to deliver pages of dialogue and access emotion, you need to be able to forget you're riding a horse and my training helped me to achieve that."

Bell even managed to convince a movie studio executive visiting the set in Scotland that he was a pro.

He recalls, "That guy was so impressed. He thought that I had been riding for 10 years."