Two B.C. ranchers were delighted to see international movie star Leonardo DiCaprio wearing one of their buffalo hides in the Hollywood blockbuster, The Revenant. opening this week.
The opportunity came as a surprise, according to the sibling pair, who own and operate the XH Buffalo Ranch in 70 Mile House, a two-hour drive northwest of Kamloops.
"We got a call from the set director and the wardrobe director for The Revenant in the summer of 2014," said Franzi Ng.
"Before we knew it, two shipments of hides and skulls were shipped down to Vancouver … a few weeks ago, we saw the trailer for the movie and there was our hide on the shoulders of a major movie star.
Her brother, Rudy Karlen, made the hide by hand.
"It was cool of course, real proud of it, that one of my hides [is] going to be in a movie with a famous actor like DiCaprio," he said.
The Revenant was partly filmed in Canada and the production company hired several local actors.
- The Revenant sees Vancouver's Gracey Dove star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio
- The Revenant stars B.C. First Nations actor alongside Leonardo DiCaprio
Buffalo hides in demand
It takes up to three weeks to make a hide like the one DiCaprio wears in The Revenant, according to Karlen.
Ng says the XH Buffalo Ranch has over 250 head of buffalo and a licensed butcher on the premise.
"They're all individually loved and admired and when their time comes, at about 18 months for the male animals, they are killed right on the pasture."
The whole body of the animal is used and the ranch sells bison meat, skulls, and hides.
A hide like the one DiCaprio wears in the film sells for about $800, which is "quite a bargain," according to Karlen.
Ng has already received more requests from other film production companies for the ranch's skulls and hides.
To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: 70 Mile House resident made buffalo hide worn by star of new film.