There's only a couple of the cast members of The Magnificent Seven that are easy to cast ...
and Charles Bronson ISN"T one of them.
Bronson poses a casting problem in that he always seemed (to me) to be a man that had paid his dues (he had) and this seemed to shine through his on-screen persona.
But he had that soft side too - as we see with the kids in The Magnificent Seven. Maybe that comes from his upbringing in a real life family of 14 brothers and sisters.
When we are introduced to Bronson in The Magnificent Seven we encounter him chopping wood. You better believe that no acting was necessary. And he could just as easily have been swinging a pick.
It’s a smart casting trick: choosing people who don’t need to act.
Bronson’s unique looks, however, allowed him to play roles of different cultures and races. Mexicans, Indians ... his name in The Magnificent Seven is Bernardo O’Rielly ... Italian Irish ?
So let’s say we’re looking for a laid back, hard working, down-to-earth, character who's paid some dues and knows a thing or two ...
Hmmmm ... ??
WIKIPEDIA: Bronson was born Charles Dennis Buchinsky in Ehrenfeld in Cambria County in the coal region of the Allegheny Mountains north of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. During the McCarthy hearings, he changed his last name to Bronson, fearing that Buchinsky sounded "too Russian"; the name was taken from Bronson Avenue in Hollywood, where the famous gated entrance to Paramount Pictures is located.
He was one of fifteen children born to a Lithuanian (Lipka Tatar) immigrant father and a Lithuanian-American mother. His father, Walter Bunchinski, who later adjusted his surname to Buchinsky to sound more "American", hailed from the town of Druskininkai. Bronson's mother, Mary (née Valinsky), whose parents were from Lithuania, was born in the coal mining town of Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. He learned to speak English when he was a teen, before that he spoke Russian and Lithuanian.
Bronson was the first member of his family to graduate from high school. As a young child, Bronson did not initially know how to speak English and only learned the language while in his teens. When Bronson was 10 years old, his father died. Young Charles went to work in the coal mines, first in the mining office and then in the mine itself. He earned $1 for each ton of coal that he mined. He worked in the mine until he entered military service during World War II. His family was so poor that, at one time, he reportedly had to wear his sister's dress to school because of his lack of clothing.
In 1943, Bronson enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces and served as an aerial gunner in the 760th Flexible Gunnery Training Squadron, and in 1945 as a Boeing B-29 Superfortress crewman with the 39th Bombardment Group based on Guam. He was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received during his service."
Lets face it, I'm not going to find any actor around who
can swing an axe - or a pick - with the likes of Bronson.
Gonna have to compromise a bit ...
“I admire your notion of fair odds, mister.”
~ Charles Bronson / The Magnificent Seven.
... mumble ... mumble ...
Time for a decision.
I'm going with Willem Dafoe !!!
I think Willem Dafoe will do one hell of job.
Often brilliant ... he's done a hell of job on everything else he's done.
Has the grizzled, chiselled, rugged looks of a Bronson.
And he's done quite a bit of Action filming.