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Viggo back in the saddle for 'Hidalgo' premiere

March 2, 2004
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Hunky Viggo Mortensen more than proved his riding skills during filming of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. But the handsome actor braved lashing rain for the premiere of his latest flick, Hidalgo, when he made a dramatic entrance on horseback.

The crowd of fans who had gathered to catch a glimpse of their hero were stunned when he arrived atop his mighty steed. "He was nice enough to invite me tonight," joked the performer as he dismounted. "I'm his date for the evening."

In the film Viggo plays a cowboy who journeys to the Middle East to compete in a dangerous race. He is accompanied, of course, by his horse Hidalgo, who has his work cut out to outrun the powerful Arabian animals. The horse was played by a mustang called TJ, and Viggo was so impressed with his mount that he bought it as soon as filming had finished.

He and his new charge were joined at the Los Angeles screening by legendary actor Omar Sharif, who plays a sheik in the movie. Other big names in attendance included hobbits Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan, who galloped up the red carpet on stick ponies.

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Photo: ©
Viggo strolls up the red carpet with a little help from his new friend TJ. "He was nice enough to invite me tonight," joked the actorPhoto: © Newscomy
Photo: ©
King Aragorn was reunited with the hobbit Merry, aka Dominic Monaghan, at the screeningPhoto: © Newscom

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