The Nice Escape exploded again onto TV screens this Easter weekend, headlined by the dashing heroics of its motorbike-riding motion star. But McQueen was a continuing trial for his fellow actors and director John Sturges. James Garner famously spilled the beans in his no holds barred memoir, The Garner Recordsdata, and let his co-star have it with each barrels. At the least he did not bear a grudge. Different A-listers by no means forgave McQueen for his actions on one other of his largest hits.
Garner performed Hendley, reverse McQueen’s Hilts within the World Warfare II jail drama and mentioned: “Like Marlon Brando, he might be a ache within the a** on set. In contrast to Brando, he wasn’t an actor. He was a film star, a poser who cultivated the picture of a macho man.
“He had a persona he introduced to each position and folks liked it however you can at all times see him performing. That’s the kiss of demise so far as I’m involved.”
It wasn’t simply McQueen’s expertise (or lack of) that was a difficulty. His behaviour on set regularly precipitated disruption all through his profession, however he virtually walked off The Nice Escape when he had a tantrum over his position.
Garner and McQueen stayed buddies, primarily as a result of the previous appeared to be a uncommon star with little or no ego. The identical can’t be mentioned for a few of the Hollywood heavyweights who tangled with McQueen on The Magnificent Seven.
Yul Brynner infamously favored everybody else to be nonetheless and silent when he was talking his traces so McQueen would purposefully take away his hat to shade his eyes or fiddle along with his gun, studying to do fancy prospers for simply that cause. In group scenes, like when the Seven cross a river on horseback, McQueen would lean right down to scoop up water along with his hat – pulling focus from everybody else. A daring transfer in a solid that included one other robust man, Charles Bronson.
The shaved and shiney-headed Brynner finally shouted: “In case you do not cease that I will take off my hat, after which nobody will have a look at you for the remainder of the movie.”
Brynner was additionally notoriously delicate about his peak, at just below 5’7. Capturing outdoors, he would scuff the earth and grime into low mounds for him to face on in order that he regarded taller. McQueen, in return, would casually flatten them as he walked previous.
He later mentioned: “We didn’t get alongside. Brynner got here as much as me in entrance of lots of people and grabbed me by the shoulder. He was mad about one thing. He doesn’t experience effectively and is aware of nothing about weapons, so perhaps he thought I represented a risk. I used to be in my ingredient. He wasn’t.
“Once you work in a scene with Yul, you’re supposed to face completely nonetheless, 10 ft away. Effectively, I don’t work that means.”
And McQueen definitely wasn’t ready to tolerate being manhandled by his co-star.
McQueen needed to clear the air earlier than he died and referred to as Brynner to thank him, saying: “You coulda had me kicked off the film once I rattled you however you let me keep and that image made me, so thanks”.
Brynner apparently advised him, “I’m the king and you’re the insurgent prince: each bit as royal and harmful to cross.”
He forgave McQueen, as had one other Magnificent Seven co-star James Cogburn. Nonetheless, the equally bull-headed Charles Bronson by no means did.