A Special Extra
A Million Ways to Die in the West, due to be released May 30, written by, directed by, and starring Seth MacFarlane. Other stars include Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Seth MacFarlane, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman and . . .
If you’ve never met Mac, who occasionally can be found visiting Facebook’s old west pages, he is extra nice. He’s extra kind-hearted (even if he won’t admit it). He’s extra friendly. And he’s also a movie extra! You might see him if you look close (and fast): he is one of the horse-back-riding cowboy types in the background, a role he has played in about 47 movies since 1994.
In the photo at the top of this page, Mac is guarding the railroad in “The Lone Ranger.” But Mac’s movie career got started with the movie “Buffalo Girls” back in 1994. “They put myself and four other cowboys way out in the background, where you could never tell it was us,” Mac says. “But after lunch we were in a saloon. Music playing, girls all around. Melanie Griffith, a little hot blonde back in the day, come down the stairs and took my hat off and run her fingers through my hair.”
That was Mac’s epiphany. “I knew I was long for the movie business,” he says of that moment, laughing.
He doesn’t work in the movies full time, only when a little piece of Hollywood relocates to the nearby Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch in New Mexico. His “day job” is owning and operating Mac’s Overnight Stables outside of Santa Fe, where he boards and trains horses and gives riding lessons. Mac is a real wrangler.
He recently began helping out with Mustang Camp , a local rescue group whose motto is “Horse gentling by rational methods.” Their mission is to “minimize captive horse suffering” and promote modern training methods. One of the ways they do this is to partner with people like Mac.
He’s boarding a mustang that is in training for 100 days. At the end of the 100 days, the 10 horses in the program are entered into a contest to see who did the best job of training. “I don’t do the training,” Mac says. “But I do help.” The prize for the rescue group is ten well-trained horses that will more likely find permanent homes and a successful adoption.
Mac grew up on a ranch, has been around horses his whole life. When he’s not performing or working he likes being out in the mountains, helping to round up cattle. “I like riding through the canyons and trees on a good horse, wearing my bat-wing chaps. With a rope on my saddle and a rifle in my saber,” he says. “It will be hours before we get back to camp. We view the skies watching for the big birds. knowing something is dead—maybe from a poacher. The sun moves across the sky and darkness starts to set. It’s good to smell the smoke of a camp fire. Another day gone and more to come at sun rise.”
And when Mac is finished working on a movie, his old west attire goes back to wardrobe. “I don’t do reenactments,” Mac says. “It’s not my style.”
He doesn’t have to. He’s the real deal.
Enjoy a VIDEO put together by Mac’s friends Santa Fe Cats