Crave: When it comes across the desk are you like, “This is awesome! We’re doing The Magnificent Seven!” or is there an element of worry?
Vincent D’Onofrio: Well, immediately there’s an element of worry, but you know, if the script was just arriving with nobody attached to it and no director and everything, you would be like, “Eeegh…” But then you get the script knowing that [Antoine] Fuqua is going to direct it, you get it knowing that Denzel [Washington] is going to play the lead in it, and right away the cool factor is like unbelievable.
I mean, a caliber actor like Denzel Washington? Forget that he’s African-American, and that’s awesome in and of itself, that they would put him in the lead in a western. That’s fantastic. Forget that, even. Just the caliber of actor that he is, doing a western, that kind of western. Doing an action western, the caliber actor that Denzel Washington is, that is incredible. You just don’t get that caliber of actor doing action westerns. They do heavy westerns and stuff like that, but not… I mean Denzel is one of the greatest actors in the world…
Damn right. You just don’t get action westerns in general anymore. Like, we still make westerns. Everyone says they’re dead but they make ‘em every year…
But they’re lower budget and they’re revisionist and they’re depressing and they good, a lot of the time…
Yeah, a lot of the time they’re good.
But here you’ve got horse stunts and knife throwing.
Did you get to do any of that stuff yourself? Did you get to trap animals for research, anything like that?
No, there was no trapping of animals but we were all using the weapons ourselves and we were all doing all that stuff.
You’ve been around, you’ve been using weapons before in films. Is it different in a western at all? Is it a different aesthetic?
It is different. The guns are heavier, they’re louder, they’re not as accurate. But a week or two in everything just becomes gunplay and you don’t think twice about it.
When you think about the original Magnificent Seven, or The Dirty Dozen, or the new Magnificent Seven, a lot of the appeal – you’re right – is the ensemble cast. For a lot of the people at home you just think to yourself, “It must be cool to hang out with those guys.” What was that cast dinner like? Was there a sense of camaraderie or did everyone just go back to their trailers at the end of the day because it’s a gig?
Yeah, nobody went back to their trailers.
What do you do? Did you all play Uno? What do you do?
Um… I’m not sure we ever played Uno, but if somebody had had a deck we probably would have. I can’t tell you enough of how close we all are. We didn’t leave each other’s sights, it was that intense. We all fell in line, perfectly. We spent every moment that we could on set together. I mean, we rode together, we went shooting together. I mean Chris [Pratt] was already a friend of mine and Ethan [Hawke] has been a friend of mine for 20 years, but the fact that those two got along, for me, was great because they’re both good friends of mine. But Manuel [Garcia-Rulfo] and Martin [Sensmeier] and Denzel and Byung-hun [Lee], you know, we had incredible dinners, incredible cigar-smoking.
Just sitting on set in 110 degrees in the shade and wearing fur and full-out costumes and hats and stuff, it was a constant blast. I mean we worked our asses off and some of it was really hard and scary at times, because some of us did some dangerous things, but so much fun. And these guys, I mean, a two-week period doesn’t go by where Chris and I don’t speak. Ethan and I speak almost every day. Manuel and I, we talk all the time. Martin has become close. It couldn’t have been better.
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