Last night the Toronto Film Festival opened with a bang, premiering the highly anticipated Antoine Fuqua film The Magnificent Seven. Not only did the cast of the film grace the red carpet, but they also took the time to chat with the press beforehand.
In case you haven’t heard, The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name, and is about seven gunslingers who come together to help a poor village fight against a group of savage thieves. Even though the premise and the the title remain the same, don’t go expecting to see the same film. Fuqua himself said during the press conference that westerns change all the time. That they are different in every era. That they reflect the times we are in. With such a diverse cast you’d think he was trying to make a statement as well, but that wasn’t the case. He was just looking to make a good movie with some of his friends. Friends that include Denzel Washington with whom he’s made two other films, and Ethan Hawke.
Denzel Washington is a man of few words, but he did say during the press conference that he made the movie because it had a good script, but more importantly he made it because Fuqua asked him. He was looking to make a movie that people would enjoy. He hadn’t even seen the original movie either, so don’t expect him to be copying any of the characters in it. He didn’t care to see it once filming began either, because he couldn’t see how it would help him with the role.
Chris Pratt liked the fact that he got to define who his character was himself. He literally walked into a wardrobe room and tried things on until he found his character. It was something he really enjoyed doing. He also talked about how the role was his first real outlaw role, unlike his turn as Peter Quill who he considers to be a man playing an outlaw. His character in The Magnificent Seven suffers real regret for his sins, and doesn’t consider himself a good guy.
As for the only female in the movie, Haley Bennett, she said jokes are bound to happen because she is the only woman in the group. Over all though she said it was a dream come true to have worked with such a great cast, and that she hasn’t stopped smiling since she was told she would be in the movie. She enjoyed getting her hands dirty, and being part of the boys club on and off the screen.
With the cast as diverse as the characters they play, you could get a real sense of why they get along with one another. Washington was the quiet one, whereas Pratt was exactly the same as the characters he plays, loud and fast talking and always joking. Fuqua said during the press conference about friends having your back when you’re making a movie, and it’s very apparent that this group he gathered for the film definitely have each other’s backs.
TIFF runs until September 18th at various theatres across Toronto.
Written By: Roderick Thedorff