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Ben-Hur: Jack Huston reveals what saved his 'privates' during chariot race

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Philippe Antonello

The filming of a period flick requires plenty of special equipment – especially for a film as elaborate as Timur Bekmambetov’s upcoming Ben-Hur reboot. A retelling of the classic 1959 Charlton Heston starrer, Ben-Hur tells the story of a Jewish prince (Jack Huston) in the time of Christ who, after being condemned to slavery by his adopted brother (Toby Kebbell), seeks revenge that culminates in a deadly chariot race. Approximately 86 horses, 20 chariots, and the building of a super-sized stadium were required – and that’s just for the movie’s iconic chariot race scene alone, to say nothing of the technical gear by way of drones and hand-held cameras.

“It’s like NASCAR,” Huston says of the race’s top speeds. “The first day, you’re completely convinced you’re going to die.”

And just like in that sport, clothes – in this case, a leather-trimmed costume – proved absolutely crucial against the massive amounts of stadium sand. 

“That’s why you use leather,” says Huston, laughing. “So you don’t shred off your privates.”

So, men, consider yourselves warned: In the unlikely case that you find yourself contemplating revenge over a high-speed, sand-filled horse race, opting for period-appropriate leather might prove to be your best protection.

Ben-Hur opens in theatres Aug. 19.

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