Body blurbs: Mike Smith

After four years and countless Body Issue photo shoots, The Mag's fearless senior deputy photo editor, Nancy Weisman, has seen it all. But for all of the skin bared in the issue, there are a few things you didn't get to see. Nancy shares the inside scoop:

We showed up at the famous Santa Anita Park racetrack in California on the morning of Feb. 21, at a time when it was closed to the public. A track employee took me and the photographer, Martin Schoeller, on a tour of the track and the stables. Walking around the stables transported me to another world, another time. It was like a movie set. And in fact, it just so happened that the now-canceled HBO show Luck was shooting there that day. We stopped and watched Dustin Hoffman film a scene!

Mike was a bit shy about posing nude, but I assured him he was in good hands. Seeing Mike standing next to this huge horse at the stables, it was fascinating to realize of the size difference. And knowing that Mike rides this horse at great speeds, you understand how brave -- and strong -- a person has to be for that. We decided to have Mike feed the horse some carrots, which triggered the idea to have the horse lick Mike's head. In order for that to happen, I had to dab molasses on the top of his head. I then crumpled up some peppermint and put that on top of the molasses. Sure enough, the horse couldn't get enough. I was tempted as well!


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