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SYFY WIRE Chosen One of The Day

Chosen One of the Day: Pantomime hobbyist Kate Beckinsale

By Jessica Toomer

Kate Beckinsale is a national treasure.

The Underworld actress plays kick-ass heroines on-screen — she’s taking on bad guys in the African jungle in Amazon’s Widow right now — and off-screen, she’s the picture of sophistication and class.

Just kidding. Y’all, Kate Beckinsale is straight up crazy. 

The actress went on The Graham Norton Show a few years ago to promote whatever thing she was in at the time and Norton managed to squeeze out a surprising insight into Beckinsale’s secret hobby. 

Some people knit. Some people scrapbook. Kate Beckinsale pantomimes. 

More specifically, Kate Beckinsale likes to spend her downtime occupying one-half of a pantomime horse. 

Beckinsale explained the evolution of this extremely bizarre pastime to Norton and fellow guests Emilia Clarke, Matt LeBlanc, and Dominic Cooper. Her first few costumes were rentals — yes, people pay money to wear these things — and they were, how do we put it… a bit unrealistic. 

Beckinsale quickly upgraded to purchasing costumes of her own, including one she travels with whenever work takes her to places like Eastern Europe. There’s a lot of downtime in Eastern Europe. One must find activities to keep one occupied, especially when friends and family bail on visiting the set. 

Beckinsale explained a few of the “rules” of pantomime horsing to the gang — apparently, it’s imperative that taller people wear the rear end of the horse or else you’ll end up with a stunted pony and look like a real fool. 

As strange as this hobby is, hearing Beckinsale explain the benefits of pantomime horse therapy has admittedly piqued our interests. Not only does dressing up in costume bolster the spirits, but a pantomime costume must also be worn by two people (or more) which means if you want to indulge in theatrics, you’ll need a partner. It’s a great conversation starter and an interesting way to meet new people. 

So, the next time you see a pantomime horse walking the halls of your hotel, just think, that could be Kate Beckinsale under there. 

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