'Jockey' Star Clifton Collins Jr Learned to Bet on Horse Races at 9 Years Old (Video)

TIFF ’21: Actor says his father ”would be drinking while I was learning to do the stats and numbers“

That backstory has some similarities to the narrative of “Jockey,” which is about an aging jockey with one last shot at glory, who suddenly comes into contact with a young athlete (Moises Arias) claiming to be his son.

Collins Jr. said that in training for the part, he wanted to do anything he could to help his jockey mentors out, be it carrying saddles, cleaning gear or staying with the horses.

“I spent almost every day with the jockeys. But I wanted the actor-y, whatever their perception is of me to just go away. So I was in service to them whatever they needed,” he said. “It was very easy for me to have enough anonymity and by, like, Day 3 to just blend in…I just want to be one of the guys. I just want to fit in.”

And Collins Jr. is one of the few people in director Clint Bentley’s film that was actually a trained actor, with many of the performers coming straight from the world of horse racing. Bentley described them as “people you would never find in casting sessions” and that he was inspired by European cinema in which you can’t always tell who is an actor and who isn’t.

“There’s a reason he disappears into the role is because he does the work to become that character,” Bentley said. “Whatever situation you put them in, some magic comes out of it.”

“Jockey” first premiered at Sundance earlier this year and is screening as part of this year’s TIFF. Check out TheWrap’s full video interview between Clint Bentley and Clifton Collins Jr. above.


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