The Magnificent Seven cast put through cowboy boot camp

28th Aug 16 | Entertainment News

Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt were put through their paces at a cowboy boot camp before shooting new movie The Magnificent Seven.

Antoine Fuqua

Director Antoine Fuqua put The Magnificent Seven cast through a cowboy boot camp.

The Training Day moviemaker reunited with Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke for the remake of the 1960 western of the same name, and cast Chris Pratt and a diverse ensemble of actors to play other members of the titular group.

To make sure his cast were up to the task of convincingly playing deadly outlaws, Antoine sent them to boot camp to hone their skills.

"They were shooting and on horses every day," he told Total Film magazine. "If I didn't need them for a few hours, they would all go out shooting and horse riding. They had a great time."

When asked who had the most formidable skills, Antoine had trouble deciding between Denzel and South Korean actor Lee Byung-hun, who plays assassin Billy Rocks.

"Denzel is pretty powerful on his horse and he had that gun with him all the time," he said. "It'd be between him and Byung-hun - he was great with the gun and the knife, like a ballet dancer, the way he moves."

Antoine brought the remake up to date by changing the names and occupations of the seven, casting a diverse set of actors, including a Hispanic outlaw and Native American warrior, and making sure the lead female Emma Cullen, played by Haley Bennett, doesn't conform to stereotype.

"It is important to not have a woman in distress or just there for a sexual object," he explained. "All those things help make it feel contemporary."

Antoine met with studio executives who compiled a list of possible actors for the film and most of them were white, but it was important to him to make a diverse Western so the audience can identify with more of the characters.

The Magnificent Seven is released in the U.S. and U.K. on 23 September (16).

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