But this wasn’t your typical premiere party, because the stars weren’t actors at all. They were Aandrik and Zobe, two Royal Friesian horses, who attended with their party-hosting owner, Joni Kuhn, and co-host Kimberly Rote.
There was plenty of horsing around as guests — including Look Cinemas owner Brian Mason and daughter Jennifer, Wade Andrews, Brooke Parker, and Chet Kuhn — made their way into the theater to check out one of the hottest movies of the season. Rote and Kuhn, Preston Hollow residents and besties, knew this would be a wonderful way to celebrate the movie’s premiere and, most important, their four-legged friends’ big-screen debut.
But don’t think the horses had all of the fun; Kuhn actually drove the chariot in the movie, though you can’t see her face. She said that being in the movie with her beloved animals was an experience she will never forget.
“Being in this movie was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me and the horses and an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” she said. “Since we live in the Dallas area, Kimberly and I thought it would be such a treat for everyone if we brought the horses and chariot for opening night at Look Cinemas. Everyone had a wonderful time.”
So how did two horses from Dallas end up in this blockbuster? Kuhn’s friend Gerard Paagman and his family from the Netherlands arranged for the horses to be brought together for Catching Fire producer Nina Jacobson. She wanted Royal Friesians because of the way they move and their long manes.
Kuhn accepted the invitation to ride her horses in the film, and the next thing she knew, she and her animals were headed to Atlanta for filming at the Georgia Dome and Atlanta Speedway.
“The days were long and the environment was often difficult for the horses, but they showed their legendary courage and gave me the confidence to finish the often difficult tasks we were asked to perform,” Kuhn said. “ My horses were young but very brave, and their attitudes and abilities made me fall in love with the Friesian horse all over again.”