Veteran chuckwagon driver Buddy Bensmiller shared his experience working behind the scenes on The Revenant film with Leonardo DiCaprio last year.
The Revenant follows the experiences of frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass who explored the uncharted wilderness of Montana and South Dakota in 1823. He is left for dead by his hunting team after a brutal bear attack and survives to seek revenge for the death of his son.
Bensmiller said that it wasn’t quite what he thought it was going to be.
“The scenery was beautiful and everything looked really real. It was two and half hours long and it didn’t seem like it,” said Buddy.
“I got involved though John Scott who supplied the horses and we worked on the film for just under three months. The horses we worked with in the film were all John’s.”
Buddy says he is in the background some in scenes but all you can see is his back walking away with a horse.
“The best week would have been working with Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo was good to work with. I was surprised at first at how much say Leo had about how he wanted to act it out, I guess because he is the one that has to act it out.”
Buddy worked with DiCaprio behind the scenes with the horses. “He would ask me how she is (about the horse). We built a fence for him to get on the horse so that it looked like he jumped off the ground.”
Outrider David Bensmiller appears in the film briefly in a shootout chase scene after they ran out of riders, he was told to change costumes.
The film was shot in three different countries Canada, the United States, and Argentina, with most of the film shot in Alberta’s Kananaskis Country in the Canadian Rockies west of Calgary.
Buddy said it is true that DiCaprio didn’t know what a Chinook was.
“Some of the mornings were -28 below. We had tents to warm up. One morning he came out and the snow was gone, it was warm and it was all global warming,” laughs Buddy.
“They ran out of snow because they couldn’t get snow.”
The film was very weather dependant and while the initial plan was to film entirely in Canada, the weather was ultimately too warm and due to the lack of snow, the production had to move to southern tip of South America in Argentina.
Landscape shots in film captured the splendor of the Canadian Rockies and depicted the tough conditions of survival and filming in such a bitter environment.
The Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu is said to have been very clear from the beginning that it would not be a green-screen production and 93 per cent of the movie takes place in exterior locations.
DiCaprio reportedly declared that he did 30 or 40 of the hardest sequences of his career.
The film, which had a budget of $135 million, has made a global box office turnover of $327 million and is still climbing.