‘Magnificent Seven’ Co-Stars Never Forgave Steve McQueen: Here’s Why

by Madison Miller
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Steve McQueen wasn’t quite the most popular person on the set of “Magnificent Seven.” In fact, the feud between Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen would become rather notorious.

There was constant drama between the two of them. Brynner had some strange working conditions, including his perspective on being the best bald person, that McQueen just wouldn’t honor.

“We didn’t get along. Brynner came up to me in front of a lot of people and grabbed me by the shoulder. He was mad about something. He doesn’t ride well and knows nothing about guns, so maybe he thought I represented a threat. I was in my element. He wasn’t. When you work in a scene with Yul, you’re supposed to stand perfectly still, 10 feet away. Well, I don’t work that way,” McQueen once said, according to Express.

Things got so bad that Brynner eventually hired an assistant to keep track of all of McQueen’s “misdemeanors” during filming scenes. Meanwhile, McQueen continued get under Brynner’s skin. He would joke that his short co-star’s horse was bigger than him, for example.

The feud was so intense that the two of them ended up nearly taking it to their graves. McQueen ended up getting cancer in 1980 and called his old co-star to talk. He thanked him for not getting him kicked off the movie for his behavior.

“I am the king and you are the rebel prince: every bit as royal and dangerous to cross,” Brynner said to him in response. The two apparently forgave each other right at the end of McQueen’s life. That’s how bad the entire situation, especially when the press became involved, was for the two of them.

Another Co-Star with Harsh Feelings for Steve McQueen

As for other co-stars like Charles Bronson and James Garner, forgiveness was never an option.

Garner compared his antics to working with Marlon Brando. The big difference, however, was that Garner didn’t even think McQueen was an actor. Rather he called him “a poser who cultivated the image of a macho man.”

James Garner was most known for his roles in “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files.” He wrote a memoir that detailed all the Hollywood drama he wanted to spill called “The Garner Files.” He had a lot of strong opinions about the actors he had to work with over the years.

He really just felt like most of McQueen’s issues were because of intense insecurities. He also wasn’t very fond of his other “The Great Escape” co-star Charles Bronson. Garner called him a bitter and belligerent man.

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