Local cowboy turns movie star

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ROCKY FORD, S.D. (KOTA TV)-- When a local rodeo star suffered a major head injury during a competition no one could have imagined that it would lead to a starring role in a Sony Classics motion picture.

But that's what happened to a Pine Ridge cowboy.

On April Fool's Day in 2016 Brady Jandreau had his head stomped on by a saddle broc. He spent three days in a coma and ended up with a steel plate in his skull.

"Some days it's just bright red," he said rubbing his scar.

He'd already met filmmaker Chloé Zhao who was looking to make a cowboy film on the Pine Ridge Reservation but now, with the accident, Zhao had her story line -- and her leading man.

And Brady learned the new world of acting.

"I really enjoyed the challenge of it, keeping the connection similar with the way I connect with horses," said Jandreau. "You know, you've got to connect with the camera, connect with that audience and remain present in every situation. Just like when I'm with a horse. It can be very dangerous if I'm not completely present, mentally, emotionally, physically. I felt like it's the same way acting."

After his wreck, Jandreau knew he'd never rodeo again but when the doctors told him he'd never ride again, he and his wife had other ideas.
"I let him get on horseback as soon as he got back from the hospital because that's where he felt like he needed to be," said Terri Jandreau.
Today Brady Jandreau raises horses on his and his wife's Pine Ridge ranch and counts his blessings.

"I miss rodeo every day but every time I see my daughter I feel like a won another world title," he said. "If you approach it with a positive attitude even the worst, there can be good that comes out of it."
And tells the part of his story that didn't make it into the movie.
"I woke up for the first time and I got down on my knees and asked my wife to marry me and she said 'yes,'" he said.

The movie, The Rider, opens this Friday in Rapid City at the AMC Classic 10 theater.