Steve McQueen, The Legend: You’ll Never Guess How Far He Went To Get His Dream Role!

MOVIE NEWS – Steve McQueen wanted a role so much that he was willing to risk his physical integrity for it…



Few actors in Hollywood history have embodied the concept of cool better than Steve McQueen. The Oscar-nominated actor and star of such iconic films as The Great Escape, The Cincinnati Kid, Bullitt, The Thomas Crown Affair, Le Mans, Papillon and others has lived on the brink of death throughout his career. McQueen died of a heart attack in 1980 at the age of 50, ending one of the greatest film acting careers we’ve ever seen.

While McQueen fans know of his penchant for driving and racing, many may not know how he orchestrated his casting in the 1960 western The Magnificent Seven.

Before starting his career on the big screen, McQueen appeared in several TV series. Among other things, for three seasons in the successful western series Wanted: Dead or Alive. To escape the filming of Wanted and make his debut in a big movie, McQueen staged a car accident! He faked an injury, got away with the ruse, and never looked back in the rearview mirror as his career soared. The Hollywood story only adds to McQueen’s legend and deserves a closer look.



Steve McQueen



A big dilemma


In 1958, Steve McQueen was given the lead role in the Western TV game Wanted: Dead or Alive. In Wanted, McQueen played Joseph Randall, a die-hard Civil War-era bounty hunter known for his quick wits and sawed-off Winchester rifle. McQueen played Randall for 94 episodes between 1958 and 1961 and became a household name.

While CBS signed him and he continued to star in Wanted, McQueen transitioned to film in 1958. At first, he only took on minor episodic roles.

One of the films, Never So Few, was directed by John Sturgess, who was so impressed by McQueen’s screen presence that he promised him a bigger role in his next film, The Seven Snipers

As a huge, expensive western remake of Akira Kurosawa’s classic The Seven Samurai, McQueen saw The Magnificent Seven as a great opportunity to expand his acting skills, raise his profile and further his film career. So he went out of his way to get a part in the film despite his contractual obligations to CBS.


How did Steve McQueen arrange a car accident?


After Sturges offered the role in The Magnificent Seven alongside Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, Eli Wallach and others, McQueen learned that the film was planned to be shot at the same time as Wanted. Four Star Productions head Dick Powell refused to release McQueen from his contract. He insisted on staying to finish Wanted. Knowing that this was the only way he could star in the film and land his big Hollywood breakthrough, the dashing actor showed daring ingenuity.

McQueen believed that the only way to get out of filming Wanted was to feign illness or injury and take medical leave.

According to the actor’s first wife, Nellie Adams, McQueen got out of his Wanted obligations by staging a minor car accident after his agent advised him to do so. McQueen, who was considering a racing career at the time, drove his vehicle into a tree at measured speed. This allowed him to suffer injuries such as minor bruises, abrasions and muscle spasms.

She claimed that she was more seriously injured in the accident and wore a fake neck brace in public to fake the injury.

The creative trick worked as planned. So McQueen could play the second main role, the laconic vagabond Vin Tanner. The Seven Snipers became McQueen’s first blockbuster film, leading to his departure from Wanted.



Steve McQueen



A defining moment in McQueen’s career


McQueen’s excellent performance as Vin Tanner was praised by critics. Three years later, McQueen and Sturges teamed up again in The Great Escape. The greatest prison break movie of all time cemented McQueen’s status as an A-list Hollywood leading man. A legendary status that might never have been achieved if he hadn’t fixed his car accident. Although McQueen and Sturges planned to shoot a Formula 1 film in the 1960s, it did not materialize due to McQueen’s busy schedule, filming The Sand Pebbles. Of course, McQueen’s racing affinity can be seen in classic films like Bullitt and Le Mans.

After appearing in 44 films between 1952 and 1980, Steve McQueen remained one of the hottest actors in Hollywood history, who stopped at nothing to shape his life as he pleased…

Source: CBR

Spread the love
Avatar photo
"Historian by profession, gamer since historical times."

No comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.