April 1, 2014

Michael Wyatt Cox’s Florida childhood provided an unexpected boost to his career. The actor, starring in the touring production of “War Horse,” grew up in Jupiter Farms, west of the turnpike in Palm Beach County.

“I grew up around horses,” says the University of Central Florida graduate, 26, with a laugh. “It was rural.”

Cox plays the leading man in “War Horse,” which opens Tuesday (Feb. 25) in Orlando, but he’s not the leading character. That would be Joey, the horse, who is drafted into the British army during World War I. Cox’s character, an English teen named Albert, follows Joey into the horrors of war in a bid to rescue his beloved companion.

Nick Stafford adapted Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 novel into the play, which debuted in 2007 at England’s National Theatre in London. In 2011, Steven Spielberg turned the story into a movie.

Onstage, Joey is portrayed by three actors who manipulate a life-size puppet. Cox acts opposite the puppet; not the people controlling it.

Because different puppeteers take turns playing Joey, “it’s a different show every night,” Cox says. “One night he might be more spunky, another night more loving.”

Read the complete article from the Orlando Sentinel.