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Tulsa King's Dana Delany Had To Overcome A Lifelong Fear Of Horses For Her Role As Margaret

The character of Margaret Devereaux (Dana Delany) on "Tulsa King" is a natural with horses, which is why it's so surprising that Delany has actually always hated horseback riding. What's doubly surprising is the fact that, despite her aversion to horses, Delany has been in a Western before. In 1993 she played the role of Josephine Marcus in the George P. Cosmatos film "Tombstone" alongside Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, and Sam Elliott. In 2019, when @EMTJen15 tweeted at Delany to ask if she had to learn how to ride side-saddle for "Tombstone," Delany responded saying that she had a stunt double for those scenes because she's "not a very good rider."

That's not the only time that Delany has had to work with horses on screen. In 1997 she starred in the 19th century period drama "True Women" with Annabeth Gish and Angelina Jolie, in which she also had to ride a horse. In 2018, Delany tweeted confirmation that she didn't do much actual riding for that project, either. "For someone who has a healthy fear of horses, I ride pretty darn well!" she wrote, before adding the hashtag "#thankyoustuntwoman."

When Delany was cast in the neo-Western "Tulsa King" playing an equestrian, the actor could no longer avoid working with horses without the assistance of a stunt double, forcing Delany to face her fear of horses once and for all.

Dana Delany discovered that horses were kindred spirits

In an interview with Vulture, Dana Delany was asked how much work she had to do with horses on "Tulsa King," and she opened up about her long-time fear of the animals, saying that it started when she was a kid and a horse that she was riding rolled on her. When she was contacted for the role, she informed the producers that she couldn't ride, and they asked her if she could at least sit on the horse for a few minutes. Delany turned to her "China Beach" co-star Chloe Webb, now a horse therapist, to help her get over her fear.

"She explains that horses have been around since prehistoric days: They're on the caves of Lascaux and they're survivors because they've been prey, and that's why they feel everything — because they have to survive," Delany recalled about the session with Webb. "And I just started weeping like a baby. I felt a kinship with this horse, because women are prey too, and that's how we've had to survive and use our emotional intelligence." According to the "Tombstone" star, finding a way to relate to the horse was just what it took to get over her life-long fear.

Delany's fear of horses was so well known to her Twitter followers that, when she first announced in June 2022 that she would be playing an equestrian, many of her fans expressed concern, including Twitter user @Lady_Ds_Legs, who was the first to bring up Delany's fear. Delany insisted that she had gotten over it, calling Webb a "great teacher." Fans really did seem to be happy to see her conquer her phobia.