Today, we remember screen legend Steve McQueen as the King of Cool. But according to Robert Vaughan, McQueen lost that cool on the set of 1960’s The Magnificent Seven.
Why? Well, he didn’t particularly approve of costar Yul Brynner’s choice of prop firearm. It was a bit too flashy for McQueen’s taste. And by that, Robert Vaughan meant that it would take attention away from the iconic Vin Tanner actor.
In his 2008 autobiography, A Fortunate Life, actor Robert Vaughan recalled his experience from the set of The Magnificent Seven. One memory stood out due to Steve McQueen’s hilarious involvement. For McQueen, however, there was nothing funny about it. He was serious. Vaughan claimed that his The Magnificent Seven costar was “always was intensely competitive, even to the point of being paranoid.”
Well, when Chris Larabee Evans actor Yul Brynner showed up with a flashy, pearl-handled revolver, McQueen’s competitive side came out.
Vaughan recalled his costar saying that the gun “has a [expletive deleted] pearl handle for God’s sake. He shouldn’t have a gun like that. It’s too bleeping fancy. Nobody’s gonna look at anything else with that godd**n gun in the picture.”
And Vaughan thought he knew precisely where that frustration was coming from. “Of course, Steve meant that nobody would be looking at Steve McQueen,” he continued in the autobiography.
It sounds like there was a little diva in Steve McQueen. However, it’s also clear that Vaughan had fond memories of working with his fellow movie icon.
‘NCIS’ Star David McCallum Also Has Fond Memories of Working Alongside Steve McQueen
It’s hard to believe, but current NCIS star David McCallum, who has played medical examiner “Ducky” Mallard since 2003, starred in the 1963 Steve McQueen classic The Great Escape. He played Lieutenant Commander Eric Ashley-Pitt, the man who figured out how to dispose of the excess soil the POWs dug up during their escape.
The 88-year old is an award-winning actor with more than 130 credits to his name. Perhaps best known for his portrayal of Ilya Kuryakin in the 1960s TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., McCallum has been at it for a long time.
But that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten the excitement stemming from working alongside icons like James Garner and Steve McQueen on The Great Escape. The NCIS star discussed how fortunate he was to land those kinds of projects with Media Mikes in 2013.
“I tend to enjoy and take great pleasure in all of the work that I do. And back then, it was no different. When you’ve decided that your whole life is going to be as an actor, when you get opportunities to do a wonderful thing, like The Great Escape, it’s just a colossal pleasure that you look forward to with great anticipation,” said McCallum.