Lucky Number Seven

This month, Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures’ The Magnificent Seven.

Meet The Seven

Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt star in MGM and  Columbia Pictures' THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

Denzel Washington as Sam Chisolm

Two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington takes the lead of The Magnificent Seven as Chisolm, one of the few members of the seven who operate with something of a tacit approval from law enforcement.  “He’d tell you he’s a duly sworn warrant officer from Wichita, Kansas and a licensed peace officer in Arkansas, Indian Territory, Nebraska, and seven other states,” says Washington.  “He’s a black man in the frontier, in a position of authority, so he needs to let people know he has authority from the government to do this job.  He’s a loner; he’s unafraid.  He’s a master with his weapon but he’s not a braggart; he’s a lonely, honorable, courageous man, not especially used to dealing with people.”

Chris Pratt as Josh Farraday

Chris Pratt joins in as Faraday, a gambler with a wise mouth but a cool hand with the pistol.  “Faraday is a bit of a fox, a trickster,” says the star of Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World.  “He’s lighthearted, a gambler, a drinker, a cigar smoker, he loves the ladies – but he’s deadly.  He keeps his head cool, even in the most dangerous situations.  He’s tranquillo – he moves slow, slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.  He is efficient in killing because he keeps a cool head.”

(l to r) Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ethan Hawke, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Vincent D'Onofrio and Martin Sensmeier in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures' THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

Ethan Hawke as Goodnight Robicheaux 

For the role of sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux, the filmmakers cast Ethan Hawke, who co-starred opposite Washington in his Oscar®-winning Training Day performance for Fuqua.  That history paid dividends. “We were at an IMAX screening for The Equalizer and he cornered me, grabbed me by my jacket – he’d read somewhere that I was going to do The Magnificent Seven, and he said, ‘If you do this movie, I’m doing it with you.  I don’t care what role I’m playing, I’m in.’  Ethan wanted to do it before I even talked to Denzel.”

Vincent D’Onofrio as Jack Horne

Veteran actor Vincent D’Onofrio takes the part of Jack Horne, a mountain man who has survived on his own in the wilderness and proves to be as tough as they come – utilizing any manner of weapon at hand in the fight to save the town.  “There was a lot of physical work,” D’Onofrio explains.  “Tomahawks, knives, a long rifle – it wasn’t just ‘draw your guns and shoot.’  I had to run around and break people’s necks, hatchet them.”

Byung-Hun Lee as Billy Rocks

Korean star Byung-Hun Lee takes the role of Billy Rocks, Goodnight’s friend and confidant.  Fuqua says that he was familiar with Lee’s work for years before serendipity brought them together.  “I was a fan of BH when he did a film called A Bittersweet Life.  I saw it years ago, and actually wanted to remake it.  But years had passed, so when he walked into my office before we cast him, I didn’t realize it was the same guy – and when he said he’d done that movie, I got really excited – “Oh my God, I’m a huge fan.’”

(l to r) Vincent D'Onofrio, Martin Sensmeier, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ethan Hawke, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Byung-hun Lee star in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures' THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Vasquez

Mexican-born actor Manuel Garcia-Rulfo joins the seven as Vasquez, an outlaw on the run from bounty hunters like Chisolm.  “Vasquez has been on the run for several months because of a crime he committed,” Garcia-Rulfo explains.  “All his life, he’s been a bandit and a robber – a criminal – but this time, he’s committed a high crime, killing an important person.  He’s been on the run for several months, but Chisolm, the bounty hunter, knows all about him, and brings Emma along to help recruit him.”

Martin Sensmeier as Red Harvest

The seven are completed by Red Harvest, a Comanche Indian who joins the pack.  The part is played by Martin Sensmeier, an actor of Koyukon-Athabascan and Tlingit Indian descent.  “Antoine was very sensitive to the culture and wanted to do it right,” says Sensmeier.  “As a native person, I think that’s really important.  He did everything he could to ensure that Native Americans were portrayed in a respectful way.  He did his homework and had a vision of what he wanted.”

The Magnificent Seven opens in cinemas Sep 22

Images courtesy of Sony Pictures Singapore

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