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Teen Star of "Labor Day" is a Trick Rider

By Deborah Ferguson
|  Friday, Jan 31, 2014  |  Updated 5:27 PM CDT
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When Gattlin Griffith isn't starring in movies like Paramount's /

Deborah Ferguson

When Gattlin Griffith isn't starring in movies like Paramount's / "Labor Day" he's a trick rider currently appearing at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

"Labor Day," starring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin and Gattlin Griffith, hits theaters this weekend, but the young star of the movie is spending his time in the arena at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo

When he's not taking movie roles, Griffith is a trick rider, flying around the arena doing stunts on the back of a horse.

Unlike a movie role, the reaction from the audience is immediate.

"I can hear them gasp and go, ‘Ahhhh, that's kind of cool,'" said Griffith. "I love it, but I get really nervous before performing before 7,000 people every day."

Griffith, 15, his four younger brothers and a family friend perform at every rodeo during the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

When he has time, he acts. "Labor Day" is Griffith's ninth movie.

"I've been waiting for this for a long time. I filmed it two summers ago and it's finally coming out. I'm excited," said Griffith.

His character in the movie, Henry, is not into sports, which is much different than Griffith in real life.

"Sports come first, same with trick riding. Trick riding's a sport, so that comes before acting. Acting's a second thing," said Griffith.
               
There is danger in trick riding, including lots of wrecks in the arena. "One of my bad ones came in Fort Worth," he said. "Horse turned a flip, I was upside down and was able to roll out of the way."

The California kid is a fourth-generation trick rider, so he knows falls come with the territory.

You can see Griffith perform in the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo through Feb. 8. His new movie "Labor Day" is in theaters now.

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