A cast full of 'macho' men
Ethan Hawke reunites with Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua for The Magnificent Seven
For the role of the "lost soul" sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux in The Magnificent Seven, Ethan Hawke reunites with Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua, with whom he worked with on the Oscar-winning crime thriller Training Day.
And then some.
The 45-year-old US actor tells M during our interview at the Four Seasons hotel in Toronto: "Vincent D'Onofrio (who plays mountain tracker Jack Horne) and I had been friends for 20 years. And then Vincent and Chris (Pratt) had just done Jurassic World together.
"It was what I call a tsunami of testosterone on that set. It was really some of the most macho bastards you would ever be in a room with, and I mean not just the actors, but the stunt guys and camera guys, and when you start doing these outdoor movies, everybody starts trying to one up the other."
Hawke is particularly proud to be part of what Fuqua was doing "with race and diversity and telling a story in a new way".
He raves: "To see Denzel be the frontman for a Hollywood Western, it's really exciting.
"And I would put (Lee Byung Hun's 2008 movie) The Good, The Bad, The Weird as one of the best contemporary Westerns of recent years. It's just brilliant, it's crazy. Mad.
"So I was really proud to work with him and have this relationship that we had. You have Goodnight, a former Confederate soldier, a redneck, the cliched racist, and his best friend is this Korean guy working the railroad and an African-American warrant officer. It's fascinating."
Though he had ridden horses in previous movies, once even with D'Onofrio in 1998's The Newton Boys, training for The Magnificent Seven was a whole other ball game.
"I had to ride back into town with no hands, firing a Winchester, so it was very difficult. I had to practise that a lot and I had to get a lot better at riding. And it was my favourite thing I will take away from this movie. It's the luxury of my job - for a period of time I got paid to learn how to ride a horse. It's awesome."
However, Hawke's kids - he has an 18-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son with ex-wife, US actress Uma Thurman, and two girls aged eight and five with current wife Ryan Shawhughes - haven't always reacted enthusiastically to his movies.
"I showed them (1991's) White Fang, and I am in the whole movie. I came in halfway and I said, 'How do you like it?' And they said 'It's great, we can't wait for you to come on'. They had been watching me for an hour! It was kind of heartbreaking."