By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bringing the American Wild West to life was no easy task, just ask the cast of "The Magnificent Seven," who endured scorching heat and torrential rain in wool costumes in the Louisiana summer.
"We had a lot of lightning, thunder issues where we had to shut (production) down, but the heat was just constant," Denzel Washington, who plays bounty hunter Sam Chisholm, told Reuters.
"The Magnificent Seven," a remake of the 1960 classic, is directed by Antoine Fuqua and opens in theaters on Friday. It's a remake, with an ethnically diverse cast, of John Sturges' 1960 Western of the same name which in turn was adapted from Akira Kurosawa's 1954 Japanese-language film "Seven Samurai.
The movie about a rogue band of outlaws and hired hands who come together at the behest of a widow to protect a small gold mining town from a murderous baron took five months to shoot.
"It was raining and we were wearing all these clothes and we're in the middle of nowhere... There's nowhere to hide and we were all on set because if we're not in the scene then we're in the background of the scene so were all around all the time," said Ethan Hawke, who plays sharpshooter Goodnight Robicheaux.
"Byung-Hun Lee and I spent five weeks up in that church steeple, every day, it was blazing hot, sitting up there shooting bad guys day after day," he added.
Lee, who plays the knife-throwing Billy Rocks, said temperatures reached 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Centigrade), with 90 percent humidity. "Now we can say it's a good memory but at the time it was so hard," the actor said.
"It was kind of hell," said Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, who plays Mexican outlaw Vasquez.
Other cast members include alcoholic gambler Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), bear-like hunter Jack Horne (Vincent D'Onofrio) and Native American warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier).
"These are all people that would not typically be cast in this type of movie fifty years ago. The original 'Magnificent Seven' save for maybe Charles Bronson were all white dudes," Pratt said.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Diane Craft)