Denzel Washington says 'The Magnificent Seven' like being a kid again

Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:27pm EDT
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By Agnieszka Flak

VENICE (Reuters) - As a pastor's son, Denzel Washington never got to watch Westerns as a child, but playing around with guns and horses in Antoine Fuqua's remake of "The Magnificent Seven" was like being a kid again, he said at the Venice film festival on Saturday.

Fuqua's take on a story about hired guns in the Old West protecting a town from thieves will close the 73rd edition of the world's oldest film festival on Saturday. It premiered in Toronto and screens in Venice in the out-of-competition section.

"To ride around on a horse, spinning guns and doing all that is like being a kid again, it's really fun and they actually paid us," Washington, 61, told a news conference. "I love my horse, I miss my horse."

The tale follows a band of outlaws who come together to defend a gold mining town from murderous baron Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) after a widowed young woman vows revenge for her dead husband.

The film is led by Washington's bounty hunter Sam Chisholm, who brings together alcoholic gambler Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke) and his knife-throwing comrade Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee).

They are joined by bear-like tracker Jack Horne (Vincent D'Onofrio), Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and Native American warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).

The movie is a remake of the 1960 Western directed by John Sturges, which in turn is an Old West-style version of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 Japanese-language film Seven Samurai.

Unlike its predecessors, Fuqua's take has a more diverse cast, including black, Asian and Mexican characters as well as a strong female lead, and Washington called it "a more honest representation of what the world was like" in 1874.   Continued...

Actors Denzel Washington (R) and Chris Pratt (C) leave by taxi boat for the film screening of "The Magnificent Seven", at the 73rd Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy September 10, 2016. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi