'Silicon Valley' Actors Revealed the Truth Behind That Horse Sex Scene

Published On 07/22/2016 Published On 07/22/2016
Silicon Valley Horse Sex Scene

If you watch HBO's start-up comedy Silicon Valley, there's probably one scene that's lingered in your mind since the show season three finale in June. You know the part: Pied Piper founder Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) approaches new CEO Jack Barker (Stephen Tobolowsky) at a barn to discuss a business deal, and suddenly, WOW OK, those are two horses having sex. It's hard to forget -- and, apparently, the actors on the show feel the same way!

During yesterday's Silicon Valley panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the show's producers and stars gathered to relive and hopefully heal from the trauma of filming that harrowing sequence. Thankfully IndieWire was on the scene to report the following revelation: though the horse sex was real, Middleditch's reaction was the result of his impressive pretending-to-watch-horses-have-sex acting skills.

Middleditch filmed his part in front of a green screen, so he wasn't actually present for the equestrian love-making. But that doesn't mean he wasn't disturbed. "What I didn’t know [was] the sheer amount of semen that comes out of this horse," the actor told the crowd. 

Kumail Nanjiani, who plays Dinesh, wasn't in the scene, but it seems to have left some scars. "Gallons of semen..." he uttered at the panel, likely staring off into space and confronting the dark memories he will never fully shake. If you are reading this article and haven't seen the scene, you can watch it below. (Obviously, it's NSFW.)


This isn't the first time the show's creators have commented on the famous scene. Almost immediately after the the episode aired back in May, creator Mike Judge talked to the Hollywood Reporter about the sequence and confirmed, "It's real!" Later, the always even-handed folks at PETA declared the scene "arranged rape." Multiple websites ran "explainers" about the moment, which, if you didn't watch the video and didn't realize by now, features two horses actually screwing.

Also revealed at the SDCC panel: stars Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, and Josh Brener all read for the role of Erlich Bachman, the now-iconic stoner played by T.J. Miller. But bits of trivia took a back seat to Season 3's big sex scene, which hopefully, by reliving the horrors of this sequence in a giant hall filled with fans, helped the cast members of Silicon Valley move on with their lives. It's time to heal. It's time to forgive ourselves. It's time to stop talking about horse semen. 

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Dan Jackson is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment, and, like Jared, his backstory is incredibly dark. He's on Twitter: @danielvjackson.



Learn More