All Scott Eastwood wanted to do was cowboy up.
He spent months with professional bull riders, learning how to play one in The Longest Ride. He mastered how to talk like a bull rider and how to move like one, and he filmed scenes atop real, top-level bucking bulls inside solid steel bucking chutes. All that was left was to open the chute gate and try to ride one for real.
“He kept asking me to ride a bull, the whole time,” bull riding stunt coordinator Troy Brown tells PEOPLE. “I was like, ‘Scott, there’s no way.’ ”
“He was excited and really wanted to do it,” adds Josh Faircloth, an athlete on the Professional Bull Riders‘ Built Ford Tough series who helped train Eastwood, 29. Producers, of course, couldn’t risk injuring their star.
“They said they’d wring his neck,” jokes Faircloth, who ribbed the movie star anyway. “I said to him, ‘You know, you can’t act the part of a bull rider and never get on.’ He said, ‘When I’m done with all my filming, I’m game.’ And sure enough, he done it.”
Normally, Brown wouldn’t hold his breath to fulfill an actor’s request. “People say they want to ride a bull but then they never call. But I knew Scott would,” says the stunt coordinator, a former bull rider who trained Eastwood at his Tuggar X ranch in Moorpark, California. “I was waiting for his call. It was a little nerve-racking for me. I had a lot to lose and nothing to gain for it – he’s got such a great acting career ahead of him!”
Sure enough, Eastwood climbed aboard an 1,800-lb. bull named Terminator, nodded his head, and rode. “He did great for the first time,” says Brown (pictured in Eastwood’s Instagram, below). “Hopefully that’ll be the last time he’ll ever do it!”
He Looks the Part
Long before he checked bull riding off his bucket list, Eastwood had a lot to learn about the sport. “Bull riding ain’t just sitting up there and hanging on for eight seconds,” says Faircloth. “You have to know how to ride them. And they really wanted him to look like he knew what he was doing.”
So the star learned the technique from the pros. “It’s extremely dangerous in the chutes,” says Brown of the steel holding pens where a rider prepares to ride the bull, wrapping his hand in the bull rope and setting up to ride. “But Scott got so good that it was no problem for him. He was really into it. He’d call me and ask me questions about the script.”
Other than climbing aboard real bulls for the shots in the chutes, Eastwood rode a mechanical bull for the action sequences. Athletes from the Professional Bull Riders acted as his stunt doubles in wide shots aboard actual bucking bulls.
Of course, it didn’t hurt the son of Clint Eastwood to have his famous father’s rugged good looks.
“He looks the part,” says Brown. “He’s very, very fit, he’s not too big. He’s a tough kid, a sportsman. He likes the outdoors, he surfs. He’s a man’s man.”