The Nidderdale cow that made it in Hollywood

Moo-ve over Meryl, Pateley cow Jewel is stealing the scene in a Hollywood blockbuster.

Friday, 23rd January 2015, 9:04 am
Farmer Andrew Fisher with half sisters to the cow who stars with Meryl Streep. Below, shots from Walt Disney's Into the Woods, which is in cinemas now (s). Picture : Adrian Murray. (1501202AM1)

It’s a dream job for many aspiring actors - to star alongside the likes of A-listers such as Mrs Streep and Johnny Depp.

So local thespians may well scream ‘pull the udder one’ when they learn that this coveted role has been achieved not by a member of their acting community - but by a cow from Nidderdale.

Four-year-old Jewel, a pedigree British White, was chosen by casting agents from Walt Disney studios to star in their latest fairytale offering, Into The Woods.

Still from Into the Woods (s)

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The film, which was released in the UK earlier this month and also stars James Corden and Emily Blunt, combines the stories of Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel.

Jewel, who was raised on a farm near Pateley Bridge, stood out for the role of Milky White the cow because of her calm nature and ease around people.

Her breeder, Andrew Fisher, said he first learned that Walt Disney was looking for a cow for the film through his membership of the British White Cattle Society.

Still from Into the Woods (s)

“They approached the society and asked all the members if they had an animals which were halter trained, quiet to handle and used to nooses,” he said.

“They chose two animals in the end and one of them was mine. Jewel had the main role, and the other cow was from Wales.”

Andrew, 44, added: “It was a shock when the email came through to tell me she had been chosen.”

He said the animal was bought outright from him by the film company, and it was only when he went to see the film last week that he finally got to see how much of a part Jewel played in the film.

“I was surprised how much she was in the film when I went to see it,” he said.

“I felt very proud. She behaved tremendously.

“It was strange to see her mixing with A-listers, on set with Meryl Streep.

“In my eyes, she stole the show from them!”

Andrew, whose grandad and uncle were beef and sheep farmers, has about 350 breeding sheep and 100 head of pedigree cattle at his farm in Low Laithe. British Whites are one of the UK’s oldest breeds, and his herd has a wide profile, having won national awards.

Recent local award wins include three first prizes at last year’s Great Yorkshire Show, and Heifer of the Year 2014 from the British White Cattle Society. He also supplies Weeton’s of Harrogate with beef.

After being swept into the world of Hollywood films, it would appear Jewel is now enjoying some well-earned rest.

Andrew said: “As far as I know, she’s on a petting farm somewhere in the south of the UK where she will spend the rest of her life.”