The cast and director of western remake, “The Magnificent Seven” have been talking about diversity in Hollywood and the epic’s grueling shoot ahead of the film’s release. Simon Thompson reports.
‘The Magnificent Seven’ on their not so magnificent shoot
“The Magnificent Seven” stars, among others, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Byung-Hun Lee. It follows a band of outlaws as they come together to defend a gold mining town from murderous baron.
Washington says that rather than being a reaction to Hollywood’s diversity issue, it’s cast is more about being historically accurate.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DENZEL WASHINGTON, ACTOR, SAYING:
“Never heard a peep about it, never thought about it when we were shooting and now it’s… I guess it’s a topic for people to talk about. I mean it’s actually reflective of… a more honest reflection of what was going on at the time.”
“The Magnificent Seven” is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name… which in turn is an Old West-style version of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Japanese-language film “Seven Samurai”.
The latest version took five months to shoot, something that Ethan Hawke and Byung-Hun Lee found to be particularly hard going.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ETHAN HAWKE AND BYUNG-HUN LEE, SAYING:
Ethan Hawke: “We’re in the middle of nowhere, you know there’s no service…”
Byung-Hun Lee: “There’s nowhere to hide…”
Ethan Hawke: “There’s nowhere to hide and we were all on set because if we’re not in the scene then we’re in the background of the scene so we’re all around all the time.. and it was five months, it wasn’t some… a lot of movies these days, you shoot for four weeks and you’re done but this wasn’t like that.”
Byung-Hun Lee: “Now we can say it’s a good memory but at the time… it was so hard.”
The film is the latest in a string of major movies for actor Chris Pratt who, in just a few years, has gone from TV co-star to Hollywood A-lister. He’s philosophical about his success.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS PRATT, ACTOR, SAYING:
“Just in a general sense, pretty much all life can be challenging you know, this just has a slightly different set of challenges than before but I’m, you know… I feel grateful and I think it’s like, if you can be happy when you don’t have anything then you can be happy when you have everything, but if you can’t be happy when you have nothing, even having everything you are not going to be happy.”
”The Magnificent Seven” hits theaters on September 23.